Seattle's top prospects to take center stage in Spring Breakout

February 16th, 2024

PEORIA, Ariz. -- Spring Training is always a time when Mariners prospects can shine among their superiors on the Major League roster, but that will be particularly true this year with the onset of the inaugural Spring Breakout next month.

Brand new in 2024, Spring Breakout is a four-day event showcasing baseball’s future -- the current stars of Minor League Baseball. The inaugural edition will be held from March 14-17 at Grapefruit and Cactus League stadiums, featuring 16 exhibition games between teams composed of each organization's top 20-25 prospects. The goal is to create a new touchpoint on the baseball calendar that celebrates the sport’s budding talent.

The Mariners’ Spring Breakout game is on March 15 against the Padres, with whom they share the Peoria Sports Complex. The game will be broadcast on MLB’s digital platforms, MLB Network and ROOT Sports. Fans can also catch the action in Arizona in person, with tickets for the game available now.

“We talk to our guys a lot about going out there and competing, and so I think this is the ultimate opportunity to compete against some of the best,” Mariners director of player development Justin Toole said.

The Spring Breakout rosters will be revealed live on a special MLB Network program on March 7 at 8 a.m. PT, co-hosted by Matt Vasgersian and Harold Reynolds. 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.

Each roster will be constructed using MLB Pipeline's Top 30 Prospects list for each club as its foundation. That means that players with rookie eligibility entering the 2024 season -- most of whom will come directly from those Top 30s -- can crack their club's Spring Breakout roster.

Major League rookie eligibility is defined as any player who has yet to exceed 130 at-bats, 50 innings pitched or 45 total regular-season days on an active roster at the game's top level. So even players with Major League experience could participate in Spring Breakout if added to their respective rosters.

“It's an opportunity to show, especially with the talent that we have, and when we look at a lot of our top prospects, quite a few of them are young position players,” Toole said. “So it's an opportunity for fans and the baseball world to kind of get a glimpse of them earlier than maybe they would have in the past.”

Though rosters aren’t yet official, the Mariners will be well-represented, most prominently with a position-player nucleus that should represent their next wave of talent in the coming years. That group will likely include many of their top-ranked prospects by MLB Pipeline, including recent first-round Draft picks Cole Young (Seattle’s No. 1 prospect), Harry Ford (No. 2) and Colt Emerson (No. 3), along with top international signees in recent years, such as Felnin Celesten (No. 6) and Lazaro Montes (No. 11).

“That's going to probably be the first time this year where the adrenaline gets going a little bit,” Toole said. “So we're definitely excited to see how the guys handle it.”

Prospect recognition has grown significantly in recent years, with the growth of outlets such as MLB Pipeline elevating awareness of each team’s rising stars. It’s been a huge reason why most fans, including the Mariners' base, are acquainted with their prospects well before they reach the Majors, such as Julio Rodríguez, Cal Raleigh, George Kirby and Logan Gilbert in recent years.

The hope is that Spring Breakout will create even more attention for this group of incoming players by reaching a wider audience.