10 MLB Prospects Who Stood Out At Spring Breakout


Image credit: Yankees OF Spencer Jones (Photo by Tom DiPace)

There were plenty of standout moments from the Spring Breakout Series. Here are our picks of the 10 prospects who had the best days in their chance to shine in big league stadiums.

1. Xavier Isaac, 1B, Rays

Isaac had the best game of any Spring Breakout player. In three at-bats, he hit two home runs and a double. None of them were cheap hits either. His first home run was a 419-foot blast to straight center field that bounced off the batter’s eye. His second home run showed his opposite field power, as he lifted it over the right field fence. Isaac tossed in a smoked line drive down the left field line off Charlee Soto for his double. Isaac is arguably the best first base prospect in the game. This past weekend offered an excellent reminder of what he can do.

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2. Spencer Jones, OF, Yankees

Jones had the two hardest-hit balls in the Yankees-Blue Jays game. He hit both to center field, with a 106.5 mph, 399-foot homer to right center for his first homer and a 108.5 mph, 427-foot homer to left center for his second. He also singled. Even his one out, a ground out, was fourth hardest-hit ball of the game.

3. Jace Jung, 3B, Tigers

You know you had some impressive performances when a player hitting two home runs and reaching base in all three plate appearances ranks third on the list. Jung came to the plate three times. He walked once and hit two home runs, one off of Mick Abel and another off of Griff McGarry. It was yet another reminder that Jung could make a case for a spot in Detroit at some point this season.

4. Paul Skenes, RHP, Pirates

If you’re looking for the moment of the Spring Breakout series, it would be hard to top the Skenes-Jackson Holliday matchup. Skenes used his triple-digit fastballs early, but fell behind in the count, instead turning to his changeup and slider to finish off Holliday for a strikeout. The righty also struck out Enrique Bradfield and induced a Connor Norby ground out to finish a quick three-up, three-down inning. Skenes’ fastball topped out at 101.7 mph, the second-fastest pitch of the series. Only Jarlin Susana (103 mph) threw harder.

5. Ceddanne Rafaela, OF, Red Sox

Rafaela is battling for a spot in the Red Sox’ Opening Day lineup, but like a number of teams, Boston ensured he got a showcase in the Spring Breakout game anyway. Rafaela made the moment count. He hit a three-run home run and also turned a double play from center field by throwing out Isaiah Drake at second base. Rafaela’s excellent defense, versatility (he can play shortstop in addition to center field) and his bat-to-ball skills were all on display and mitigate some of his over-aggressiveness at the plate.

6. Cam Cauley, 2B, Rangers

Cauley is showing signs this spring that he’s taken another step forward with a productive offseason. He doubled and tripled off Reds starter Julian Aguiar in the first game of the Spring Breakout series and drove in the Rangers’ only run.

7. Justin Wrobleski, LHP, Dodgers

The Dodgers are so good at producing pitchers that the question wasn’t whether there would be a Dodgers’ pitching standout at the Spring Breakout series. The question was who would it be. Wrobleski got the start and quickly showed he was up to the challenge. He gave up a single to start his outing, but that was the only ball that left the infield. Two strikeouts and a ground out quickly ended the first. He struck out two more and got one more ground out in the second. Seven batters, four strikeouts and no fuss.

8. Thomas White, LHP, Marlins

White got the start for the Marlins. It was an aggressive assignment that meant the 19-year-old would be facing the top of a Cardinals’ lineup filled with close-to-the-majors hitters. White struck out lead-off hitter Victor Scott II on a slider. He then walked Masyn Winn, but battled back to beat Thomas Saggese with 95-mph in on his hands to pick up his second strikeout. A backdoor slider caught Pedro Pages looking for White’s third strikeout in four batters. It was an impressive and poised outing for the young lefty, as he showed an impressive fastball and slider.

9. Justin Crawford, OF, Phillies

Crawford had two of the Phillies’ five hits and stole a base in the club’s loss to the Tigers in their Spring Breakout game. Crawford is a ground-ball hitter who doesn’t drive the ball in the air all that often. But he is very good at hitting for average, as his at-bats against Brant Hurter showed.

10. Joshua Baez, OF, Cardinals

There have long been questions about Baez’s ability to hit for average, but don’t ever doubt his power. Baez offered yet another reminder of that with a 110 mph exit velocity on a home run off the Astros’ Jake Bloss to provide the lone run in their Spring Breakout game.

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