Cubs prospects get to work with Spring Breakout upcoming

February 16th, 2024

MESA, Ariz. -- Outfielder looked down the row of lockers to his right inside the Cubs’ clubhouse on Thursday morning and started pointing to prospects who were now in the room. He rattled off the names of center fielder , catcher and reliever .

“It’s pretty cool,” Caissie said. “It's pretty cool to see what the org has done and how it can really happen to anyone.”

Over the past few years, the Cubs organization has built one of baseball’s top farm systems with a rapid rebuilding process that included a series of blockbuster trades, a few high picks in the MLB Draft and a group of international signings that has infused the Minor Leagues with potentially impact names.

MLB’s Spring Breakout showcase next month will give fans a chance to get a first-hand look at some of the talent found in the Cubs’ system. Every player on Pipeline’s Top 100 list is eligible to participate, and the North Siders lead the way with seven prospects in the rankings. A team of Cubs prospects will face a group of White Sox prospects on March 15 at Sloan Park.

“It’s a great idea,” Crow-Armstrong said. “I think us, as prospects, I think we deserve that. There’s always the walk you have to walk to get recognition and whatnot, but as of right now, to just keep people excited, I think it’s a great idea.”

The Spring Breakout rosters will be revealed at 10 a.m. CT on March 7 in an MLB Network special, featuring hosts Matt Vasgersian and Harold Reynolds, plus analysis from Pipeline experts at camps in Arizona and Florida. The prospect showcase games will then take place from March 14-17 in various spring locales.

For the Cubs, their prospect clash with the rival White Sox will take place at 4:05 p.m. CT on March 15 in Mesa, Ariz., while the Cactus League game between the cross-town clubs will have a first pitch of 3:05 p.m. CT at Camelback Ranch in Glendale, Ariz. The Spring Breakout game will be aired on Marquee Sports Network, as well as across MLB Digital platforms (, MLB.TV and the MLB app).

“The fans, I'm sure love it,” Cubs infield prospect said. “The reason some of these guys get paid so much money is because the fans show up. That's the biggest driver of money like that. Without [the fans], what would it be? So, it's good to have stuff that kind of shows that MLB, they care about the fans.”

Crow-Armstrong (No. 16), Caissie (No. 47) and Shaw (No. 54) are among the seven players on Pipeline’s new Top 100 list. Those rankings also include pitcher Cade Horton (No. 26), first baseman Michael Busch (No. 51), outfielder Kevin Alcántara (No. 65) and infielder James Triantos (No. 73).

Pipeline’s new Top 30 list for the Cubs is coming soon, but there is a long list of players from the most recent rankings in Chicago’s clubhouse this spring, including pitchers Jordan Wicks, Ben Brown and Michael Arias, plus outfielders Alexander Canario and Brennen Davis, infielders Matt Mervis and Luis Vazquez, and Aliendo.

Aliendo, Caissie and Shaw are among those getting their first taste of Major League Spring Training, offering a chance to watch the veteran players’ routines and pick their brains in conversations in the bullpen or batting tunnel.

“[We’ll] observe, learn, get to know some guys,” Shaw said, “start to learn what clicks for different guys and watch their routines, watch how they go about their business. Watch how they communicate. Everything. There's a lot to learn. So, I'm just excited to be here and really just watch, learn and play some ball.”

That might include playing in the first-of-its-kind Spring Breakout.

“It'll showcase, quote-unquote, the organization's best talents,” Caissie said. “The Top 30 prospects will be in it. It's a pretty cool thing.”