Major League Baseball announced yesterday that this upcoming Spring Training will feature a new four-day event called “Spring Breakout.” This event will feature the top prospects from each organization facing off against each other in Spring Training venues. All 30 teams will be represented.
The idea behind this showcase event is to feature the next generation of stars on a bigger stage. There will be opportunities for “fan engagement” at every game, including autograph-signing sessions. Some games will be single-ticket doubleheaders with traditional Spring Training games.
A team of the best 20-to-25 Cubs prospects will take on a team of the best 20-to-25 White Sox prospects at Sloan Park on Friday, March 15 at 2:05 Arizona time. MLB did their best to try to match up prospect teams with a rival when they could work out the logistics. Obviously no team of prospects from Arizona is traveling to Florida to play, so no Cubs against the Cardinals. But luckily, the Cubs could be nicely matched up with the White Sox.
For years, the Padres and Mariners, who share the Peoria Sports Complex for Spring Training, would play a game where their top prospects would face off against each other. It was a dream ticket for prospect fans, and I mean that literally. They could only dream of watching the game because it was closed to the public. Only team officials, scouts and a few invited guests were allowed to attend. The idea behind the “Spring Breakout” showcase is to take that idea, spread it out to all 30 teams and publicize it. (And yes, the Padres are scheduled to play the Mariners on March 15 as well.) All 15 games will be played from Thursday to Sunday in order to allow as many people as possible to attend. The current plans are for all the games to be streamed online, but we’ll see if MLB Network picks up some of the games as the showcase gets closer.
Right now, this is just a one-year experiment. But if it is successful, it will could be repeated in future years and perhaps even expanded. It’s even possible that this event could one day lead to a Spring Training tournament of minor league prospects.
This event is part of MLB’s attempt to better integrate the minors and the majors since MLB’s 2021 takeover of Minor League Baseball.