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  • Writer's pictureGrant DeVivo

Orioles and Pirates Headline Inaugural MLB Spring Breakout

Updated: Mar 18

Birds and Bucs to battle in debut of new MLB prospect showcase

*Cover Photo Credit: Ulysses Munoz, The Baltimore Banner


Tonight, Spring Training history will occur.


The Major League Baseball Spring Breakout will debut.


This is a prospect showcase occurring over the next four days in both the Grapefruit and Cactus Leagues. Selected teams bring rosters featuring their most poised top prospects and Minor League talent. They go head-to-head in 7-inning exhibitions. This gives fans the opportunity to get excited about their team’s future as they witness the All-Stars of tomorrow play right in front of them.


The Orioles and Pirates kick off the inaugural series tonight with an exhibition at LECOM Park in Bradenton, Florida. Both farm systems are absolutely stacked with tons of talent that is not being ignored, that set the stage for a bright future in Major League Baseball. The O’s come in with the best farm system in all of baseball according to MLB.com, while the Bucs come in with the 9th best farm system. This should be one of the most entertaining Spring Breakout games to watch the entire weekend.


As you prepare to indulge yourself in a prospect fantasy, here are some things to think about heading into the game.


Holliday & Skenes Rematch: two of baseball’s most promising prospects, No. 1 Jackson Holliday and No. 3 Paul Skenes, will do battle once again as they did on March 1 for the very first time. In their first encounter, Skenese got Holliday to ground out on a 100 MPH fastball. That set the stage for Holliday to get some light-hearted revenge, which could occur tonight as it is highly likely that these two will face each other again tonight. The battle of the first overall picks will certainly headline the list of events this evening as it did the last time.

C Samuel Basallo (MLB No. 17) is amongst the many eite prospects you will see play in tonight's inaugural Spring Breakout. Photo: John Topoleski

Brick Walls: though he may not be catching due to nagging wrist issues, MLB’s 17th best prospect Samuel Basallo headlines the quad of catchers that are representing the Orioles at Spring Breakout. Many eyes will be on Basallo, one of the game’s most talented catching prospects, and the monstrous power-hitting 20-yeard-old will look to showcase his offensive abilities as a DH. The other backstops that will back him up are power-hitter Creed Willems and defensive stalwarts Silas Ardoin and Connor Pavolony.


Basallo has already expressed his excitement for Spring Breakout, as he told MLB.com that he is excited for the chance for him and his teammates to showcase what they are capable of on a baseball field.


“Being able to share the field with other talented and special players is going to be great,” he said.

Fans will get an exculsive look tonight at 2023 first rounder Enrique Bradfield Jr. Photo: John Topoleski

Enrique Bradfield Jr.: Orioles fans got a brief glimpse last season at Bradfield Jr., the Orioles’ 2023 first rounder out of the well-known college baseball program at Vanderbilt. In just 25 games between Low-A Delmarva and High-A Aberdeen, he hit .291 with 25 stolen bases. Fans will get an extended look at Bradfield during Spring Breakout as he roams the field with tons of other young stars and hopefuls in Birdland. Fans should be excited about the 22-year-old’s bat-to-ball skills and lightning fast speed that factors into both his offensive and defensive game. Those tuning into the game who watch Bradfield Jr. are looking at the potential centerfielder of the future for the Orioles should they part ways with Cedric Mullins.


Coming Out of the Bullpen: the Orioles have some very bright young bullpen arms available for the game, many of which had dominant 2023 seasons. At some point tonight, expect to see innings eater and strikeout machine Trace Bright, hard-throwing righty Keagan Gillies, sidearmer Nolan Hoffman, and the durable Yaqui Rivera appear in the game and show why they belong in the Orioles’ bullpen one day down the road.


On The Other Side: I assume you probably only care about how the Orioles prospects are doing. However, if you want to know a bit about the Pirates’ prospects, here are some names to pay attention to. Obviously, you’ve heard a lot about Skenes, the Pirates’ first overall pick last season from the college baseball champs LSU. Fellow prospect pitcher, southpaw Anthony Solometo, will join Skenes at Spring Breakout and will most likely relieve him at some point. The Bucs have some heavy hitters on the roster as well with power-hitting Termarr Johnson and speedster Tsung-Che Cheng expected to be in the middle infield for the Bucs. Pittsburgh’s full roster can be found here.


If you want to see the future of baseball in action before they even blossom, then this is the game that you want to tune into. Be sure to tune into the Orioles and Pirates tonight as they kick off the inaugural Spring Training, showcase the future of the game, and give a sneak peak of what could be a future World Series matchup.


The Orioles and Pirates Spring Breakout exhibition will be aired on MLB Network. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 pm. A summary of the results of the game will be published shortly after the conclusion of the game.

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