On Wednesday, Major League Baseball announced the introduction of Spring Breakout. Each franchise will make up a roster consisting of 20-25 of their best prospects to play one seven inning game in an event to showcase the future talent (the Cincinnati Reds and St. Louis Cardinals will each play two games).
The Baltimore Orioles minor league team will play after the major league team on March 14, 2024 at 7:05 PM as the second half of a double header. The fans will have plenty of talent to watch from the O’s top ranked minor league system as they take on the Pittsburgh Pirates minor leaguers.
The Orioles will play the Pirates in the inaugural Spring Breakout event
Not only is the Orioles farm system loaded with talent, but they have top tier talent at every position. The Birds would likely have a starting lineup comprised of their top 10 prospects:
C: Samuel Basallo #5
1B: Coby Mayo #4
2B: Connor Norby #7
3B: Joey Ortiz #6
SS: Jackson Holliday #1
LF: Colton Cowser #2
CF: Enrique Bradfield Jr #8
RF: Dylan Beavers #9
DH: Heston Kjerstad #3
SP: Chayce McDermott #10
This could be considered the best lineup that any team can put forward in the breakout. The O’s top six prospects rank among the top 100 prospects in baseball, led by 20 year old Jackson Holliday who holds the number one overall spot.
I believe this lineup also is within the spirit of the Spring Breakout because it allows fans to see top prospects such as Basallo, Beavers and Bradfield compete even though they are not playing at the highest level. The only question is who will comprise the rest of the team?
If the roster is comprised of 20 players, the rest of the roster could be the following:
C: Creed Willems
INF: Mac Horvath, Max Wagner
OF: Jud Fabian, Billy Cook
P: Cade Povich, Ryan Watson, Noah Denoyer, Morgan McSweeney, Garrett Stalling
Willems had a breakout season with the Delmarva Shorebirds and advanced to the Aberdeen IronBirds. Horvath and Wagner provide good infield depth that have played multiple positions and are exciting prospects. Fabian and Cook are the backup outfielders that both pack a lot of power.
Povich is the Orioles #11 prospect and could be used as a long reliever should McDermott falter. Watson, Denoyer, McSweeney and Stallings are relief pitchers from the Orioles AAA affiliate that could close out the game.
Players such as Seth Johnson, Braylon Tavera, Leandro Arias, Maverick Handley and Alex Pham could be added if the roster is 25. Several of the players on this potential roster have been mentioned in trade rumors and official rosters won’t be announced until closer to the game.
Orioles hitters will have their hands full as the Pirates are expected to start Paul Skenes, who’s their top prospect and #3 prospect in baseball. They only have one position player in their top 30 prospects projected to make the majors next season so their lineup could be very young but anything can happen in baseball. It should be a fun game to watch and a great opportunity for the younger players.