Here are the prospects with the best tools in Spring Breakout

March 14th, 2024

Spring Breakout will make for a fun weekend, with 16 games pitting many of the best prospects in one organization against many of the best in another. It's essentially 16 Futures Games at Spring Training sites, featuring 72 of MLB Pipeline's Top 100 Prospects and 575 of the 900 players on our organization Top 30 lists.

In addition to featuring most of the game's brightest young talents, Spring Breakout also will showcase some of the most stunning tools among prospects. Below, we identify the superlatives that will be on display on Cactus and Grapefruit League diamonds as well on MLB's digital platforms (, MLB.TV and the MLB app, all games live and blackout-free). Six games will air live on MLB Network.

Numbers in parentheses represent grades on the 20-80 scale, with 50 representing big league average.

Best hitter: Jackson Holliday, SS/2B, Orioles (70)

Holliday ranks atop the Top 100 first and foremost because of his hitting ability. He broke J.T. Realmuto's national prep record for hits in a season (89 in 41 games) in 2022 before going No. 1 overall in the Draft that July, and he hasn't stopped raking since. He has batted .320 since turning pro, zooming from Single-A to Triple-A in his first full season at age 19. With a quick, compact left-handed stroke and an advanced approach, he hits the ball with authority to all fields.

Also in the running: Dylan Crews, OF, Nationals; Brooks Lee, SS, Twins; Jacob Wilson, SS, Athletics.

Best power: James Wood, OF, Nationals (70)

Wood looks the part of a slugger at 6-foot-6 and 234 pounds. His frame gives him tremendous strength and leverage, which combine with his quick left-handed swing to produce top-of-the-scale raw power that plays to all fields. Though he struggled with strikeouts after getting to Double-A at age 20 last year, he's also a reasonably polished hitter who's able to tap into his pop. He homered 26 times last year, second in the Minors among players his age or younger, and went deep three times in 31 at-bats while tearing up the Grapefruit League this spring.

Also in the running: Owen Caissie, OF, Cubs; Jackson Chourio, OF, Brewers; Xavier Isaac, 1B, Rays; Coby Mayo, 3B/1B, Orioles.

Fastest runner: Victor Scott, OF, Cardinals (80)

Scott didn't hit enough to make full use of his blazing speed until his third season at West Virginia in 2022, when he set a school record with 38 steals in 55 games. He ran wild in 2023, tying for the Minor League lead with 94 steals in 108 attempts before finishing second in the Arizona Fall League with 18 swipes in 21 tries. He has made no secret of his desire to become the first big leaguer to reach 100 steals since Vince Coleman in 1987, and with elite sprint speeds in excess of 30 feet per second, he could make that happen.

Also in the running: Enrique Bradfield Jr., OF, Orioles; Kendall George, OF, Dodgers; Dillon Head, OF, Padres; Chandler Simpson, OF, Rays.

Strongest arm: Masyn Winn, SS/2B, Cardinals (80)

Winn not only ranked second in average velocity among big league shortstops at 92.4 mph last summer, he also recorded three of the six hardest throws (98.4, 98.0 and 97.3 mph) at the position despite not arriving in St. Louis until mid-August. He was scouted heavily as a pitcher in high school, when he ran his fastball up to 98 mph. He famously unleashed a 100.5 mph laser at the 2022 Futures Game, and he also hit 102 mph on a relay in Triple-A last July.

Also in the running: Will Banfield, C, Marlins; Jack Brannigan, SS/3B, Pirates; Cole Carrigg, OF/SS/C, Rockies; Coby Mayo, 3B/1B, Orioles.

Best defender: Pete Crow-Armstrong, OF, Cubs (80)

With plus-plus speed, outstanding instincts and total fearlessness, Crow-Armstrong is the best defensive outfield prospect in years. He can turn nearly impossible plays into outs and make difficult plays look routine. He started three games during his first big league callup last summer and produced web gems in two of them. As a bonus, his solid arm strength also stands out in center field.

Also in the running: Enrique Bradfield Jr., OF, Orioles; Druw Jones, OF, Diamondbacks; Jeferson Quero, C, Brewers; Ceddanne Rafaela, OF/SS, Red Sox.

Best fastball: Paul Skenes, RHP, Pirates (80)

Skenes rode his fastball to great heights in 2023, winning a national championship, College World Series most outstanding player and Southeastern Conference pitcher of the year honors and leading NCAA Division I in strikeouts (209), strikeouts per nine innings (15.3) and WHIP (0.75) before going No. 1 overall in the Draft and signing for a record $9.3 million. He averaged 98 mph and touched 102 while starring at Louisiana State, and his fastball plays up thanks to his flat approach angle, command and carry. Some analysts quibble with the shape of his heater, but hitters aren't able to catch up to it.

Also in the running: Jordan Leasure, RHP, White Sox; Jacob Misiorowski, RHP, Brewers; Alex Speas, RHP, White Sox; Emiliano Teodo, RHP, Rangers.

Best curveball: Landen Roupp, RHP, Giants (70)

Roupp is the most anonymous prospect to claim a category on this list, but he's used to being overlooked. A 12th-round pick in 2021 despite starring at UNC Wilmington, he has posted a 2.40 ERA, .189 opponent average and 208/47 K/BB ratio in 146 1/3 innings, thanks in large part to his wipeout upper-70s curveball. It comes with huge spin rates and true downer break, and he has the aptitude to land it for strikes or get chases outside the zone.

Also in the running: Frank Mozzicato, LHP, Royals; Jackson Ferris, LHP, Dodgers; Tekoah Roby, RHP, Cardinals; Robby Snelling, LHP, Padres.

Best slider: Paul Skenes, RHP, Pirates (70)

Skenes' slider improved tremendously at LSU under the tutelage of pitching coach Wes Johnson. His slide piece went from a tight breaker that sat at 83-85 mph to an 85-89 beast with huge sweep that elicited a 62 percent swing-and-miss rate against college hitters in 2023. Despite its movement, he's able to command it well.

Also in the running: Prelander Berroa, RHP, White Sox; Cade Horton, RHP, Cubs; Jacob Misiorowski, RHP, Brewers; Jack Neely, RHP, Yankees.

Best changeup: Dylan Lesko, RHP, Padres (70)

The most advanced high school pitcher in the 2022 Draft, Lesko also featured the best changeup in the entire class. His cambio parks in the low-80s with significant fade and some sink as a bonus. He sells it with the same arm speed with which he delivers mid-90s fastballs and has complete faith in his changeup. It's a major reason why he dominated left-handers in his 2023 pro debut, holding them to a .186 average with a 39 percent strikeout rate.

Also in the running: D.J. Herz, LHP, Nationals; Jose Fleury, RHP, Astros; Brock Porter, RHP, Rangers; Drew Thorpe, RHP, White Sox.

Best control: Rhett Lowder, RHP, Reds (65)

A two-time Atlantic Coast Conference pitcher of the year who topped Division I with 15 wins while ranking fourth in ERA (1.87) and strikeouts (a Wake Forest-record 143) last spring, Lowder pounds the zone with three pitches while repeating his easy delivery. He walked just 24 in 120 1/3 innings while throwing 70 percent of his pitches for strikes as a junior, and his polish could land him in Cincinnati's rotation by midseason.

Also in the running: Zebby Matthews, RHP, Twins; Adam Mazur, RHP, Padres, Paul Skenes, RHP, Pirates; Drew Thorpe, RHP, White Sox.