Dodgers' future looks bright in Spring Breakout rout

March 17th, 2024

TEMPE, Ariz. -- Even a mere glimpse into the Dodgers' future looked promising.

Five pitchers combined to allow no earned runs with 14 strikeouts, and the batters did everything from booming extra-base hits to playing small ball as the Dodgers' prospects thumped the Angels', 8-1, on Saturday night at Tempe Diablo Stadium.

The exhibition was part of the MLB’s inaugural Spring Breakout, the four-day event in both the Cactus and Grapefruit leagues showcasing baseball’s future. The Dodgers sent an impressive contingent with 16 of their Top 30 prospects, including catcher Dalton Rushing, the organization’s No. 1 prospect (No. 75 overall), according to MLB Pipeline.

“Most of these players aren’t going to be playing with each other this season and they might not ever be playing on the same team with each other again,” said John Shoemaker, current Rancho Cucamonga Quakes manager and 2023 recipient of the Tommy Lasorda I Bleed Dodger Blue Award, who acted as manager Saturday. “They really performed well today, they were excited.”

Wrobleski impresses
Left-handed pitcher Justin Wrobleski, the Dodgers’ 16th-ranked prospect, retired six of the seven batters he faced with four strikeouts, including twice fanning Kyren Paris, the Angels’ No. 4-ranked prospect. The 22-year-old also showed some sweet defense in the second inning, too, avoiding a shattered bat while sliding to his knee to make the throw to first.

Liranzo smashes
Having a busy day was first baseman Thayron Liranzo. The cleanup man, a 6-foot-3 switch-hitter who at 20 years old is ranked as the No. 10 Dodgers prospect, was the only hitter on either team to bat five times Saturday. He belted a three-run homer to right in the third.

“This was an awesome opportunity with the team with all the teammates,” he said through an interpreter. “I am thankful to God, and it feels great.”

Ferris dons Dodger blue
No. 8 prospect Jackson Ferris, who came to L.A. from the Cubs in the deal that sent Yency Almonte and Michael Busch to Chicago, suited up in game action for the first time as a Dodger. The 20-year-old lefty worked two innings with two walks and three strikeouts, plus an unearned run.

Other highlights
Rushing hit third in the lineup, walking and scoring a run. Right-fielder Josue De Paula, the team’s No. 4 prospect, finished with two singles and two RBIs.

The prospects scored four runs in the third and two in the fourth -- and both times the rally started with two outs and no one on base. The sixth inning saw the Dodgers score two runs by way of two hits, two walks, a wild pitch, a stolen base and two sacrifice flies.

“Some of our guys don’t have that many at-bats yet in Spring Training and today, they came up big with some hits,” Shoemaker said. “Some of the pitches they like, they got today and they hit ’em.”