Spring Training of 2023 was the introduction to a lot of new concepts that Major League Baseball was trying out for the first time, and it ended up being the perfect proving ground for modernizing the game. Spring Training of 2024 is looking to continue that trend as next spring will be the first time we see the Spring Breakout, a showcase for all the top Minor League talent to shine on the biggest stage.
The Spring Breakout is a big part of the initiative in place by the MLB to further highlight the Minor League talent on a bigger scale, with talks of expanding this event in years to come based on how 2024’s showcase performs. This year will see all 30 teams put together a roster of 20-25 players from their farm system to compete in a seven-inning exhibition matchup, with twelve of those games being paired with Major League in stadium double-headers.
“Spring Breakout will provide a new opportunity to showcase the future stars of the game as they continue on their journey to the Major Leagues,” MLB commissioner Rob Manfred said in a statement following winter meetings in Nashville. “Our fans will get unique opportunities to meet our best prospects, get autographs, and see the next generation of Major Leaguers up close. We are thrilled that Major League Baseball, Minor League Baseball and all of our Clubs are working closer than ever to grow the game and to shine a brighter light on our future All-Stars.”
For the past five years, the Pittsburgh Pirates have ranked very highly in terms of their Minor League rosters, and now this may be the perfect time to see a lot of that young talent perform together on a big stage. Rosters will include players that are still in the Minor Leagues, and rookie players regardless of any time spent in the majors, so Pittsburgh could have a stacked squad.
Currently the team has four prospects in the top 100 list, three being pitchers, so it’ll be unlikely that we see all in action, but Paul Skenes, Jared Jones and Anthony Solometo should certainly be a part of the team with Termarr Johnson at second base. Just going off of that same list, we could likely see Mitch Jebb at shortstop, Lonnie White Jr. in the outfield and Malcolm Nunez playing first.
A lot of the Pirates top prospects are pitchers, so we likely won’t see a lot of the top rated guys play, especially since there was a historic list of call-ups last year for the squad. Nonetheless, it will be worth it to see just a glimpse at what the team could possibly look like in the coming seasons.
Paul Skenes says goodbye and Merry Christmas before being placed in bubble wrap until spring training: pic.twitter.com/gdi0U3af6Q— Nick Cammuso (@npc210) December 13, 2023
The Spring Breakout portion of Spring Training is set to kick off on Thursday March 14 with two contests between the Arizona and Florida complexes, and Pittsburgh will be taking on the Baltimore Orioles in one of the most anticipated matchups of the weekend with Skenes hopefully pitching against Jackson Holliday.