Cards' top pitching prospects eye Spring Breakout roster spots

February 15th, 2024

JUPITER, Fla. -- Both products of the 2021 MLB Draft, Michael McGreevy and Gordon Graceffo have seen their careers mirror one another while pitching together in Single-A, High-A, Double-A and Triple-A throughout the Cardinals Minor League system.

If all goes well in the weeks to come, Graceffo (ranked by MLB Pipeline as the Cardinals' No. 6 prospect) and McGreevy (No. 12) will be pitching teammates again in MLB’s inaugural Spring Breakout showcase from March 14-17 at Spring Training camps in Florida and Arizona.

In December, MLB announced the Spring Breakout initiative as a way to better showcase some of the game’s young and up-and-coming talent. Instead of those players performing only on the back fields during Spring Training, MLB is bringing them to the forefront to give fans a peek at the future on significantly bigger stages.

From March 14-17, clubs’ top young talent and Minor League standouts will form squads and face off against the rising stars from other organizations. All players on MLB Pipeline’s Top 100 list are eligible to play in the games.

“[McGreevy and I] have gone through every level together, we share information based on the other team’s scouting information and pitch stuff,” said Graceffo, who was 4-3 with a 4.92 ERA in 21 games (18 starts) at Triple-A Memphis last season and is hoping to break through to the MLB level this season.

“We’ve gone through a lot of stuff together and we’ve talked about the mental side of the game. It’s definitely easier when you have somebody there with you who is going through the same stuff.”

The Cardinals' top stars will face the top talent from the Marlins on March 15 and from the Astros on March 17. Both games will be played at Roger Dean Chevrolet Stadium in Jupiter, Fla., as part of doubleheaders with the MLB clubs squaring off in the nightcap. The Cardinals-Astros Spring Breakout game will be audio-only on MLB’s digital platforms (, MLB.TV and the MLB app) at 10:05 a.m. ET/9:05 a.m. CT. The game against the Marlins is scheduled for 2:05 p.m. ET/1:05 CT, with broadcast information to be determined.

At long last, young Minor League stars will be given prominent stages during Spring Training from which they can shine.

“I really feel like that’s a great idea, putting some of the spotlight on the young guys who are coming up while the big league guys are still here,” said hard-throwing right-hander Tink Hence, the Cardinals' No. 2 prospect, per MLB Pipeline, and a strong candidate to pitch in one of his team’s Spring Breakout games.

“I feel like it’s a great opportunity for guys to make their name known and let the fans know what type of player they are. I feel like it’s really a beautiful idea to hold the event during Spring Training.”

Spring Breakout rosters will be revealed live on MLB Network on Thursday, March 7, at 11 a.m. ET/10 a.m. CT. Spring Breakout participants will join the MLB Tonight program, which will simulcast on MLB’s digital platforms, plus commentary will be provided by MLB Pipeline experts from Spring Training in Arizona and Florida.

“It’s a great idea and all of these guys deserve the attention they’re going to get because they are great players,” Graceffo said. “It’ll be a great experience to go out there and play and I hope I can be a part of it. The fans will enjoy it and it will be cool. I think it’s a really good idea and good for the game.”