LIVE: Marlins-Cardinals Spring Breakout

March 15th, 2024

JUPITER, Fla. -- When Cardinals top pitching prospects Tink Hence, Tekoah Roby, Cooper Hjerpe and Gordon Graceffo reach the big-league level, the Cardinals want those young players to be familiar with their teammates, their coaching staff and the expectations.

Like most MLB clubs, the Cardinals have worked to blur the lines between their Minor League system and their big league club during Spring Training. Highly touted prospects such as Hence or Roby throw alongside established veterans most days. And usually, Cardinals manager Oliver Marmol and/or pitching coach Dusty Blake watch those sessions to try and better familiarize themselves with a prospect while building a relationship.

“The whole league has seen that [line of demarcation between the majors and minors] go away because you have to develop guys at the highest levels,” Marmol said. “Not that that wasn’t the case before, but there’s just more of it now. Guys are getting here sooner, and we want them to have an ownership of this level. That’s why it’s so important to have a staff that understands the importance of player development.”

MLB teams will get in-depth looks at some of their top young talent next when MLB’s Spring Breakout begins on Wednesday. The inaugural event will feature two games being played at Roger Dean Stadium, with the Cardinals hosting the Marlins on Friday and the Astros on Sunday. Spring Breakout is a first-of-its-kind exhibition created by MLB to feature baseball’s top prospects and the stars of tomorrow in each farm system.

Here’s everything you need to know about MLB Spring Breakout.

What is Spring Breakout?

MLB 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 during Spring Training. A series of 16 exhibition games will be played between teams composed of each MLB organization’s top prospects, creating a new touchpoint on the baseball calendar that celebrates our sport’s budding talent.

What time is the Marlins-Cardinals game?

The Spring Breakout game between the Marlins and Cardinals will begin at 2:05 p.m. ET/1:05 p.m. CT. As part of a doubleheader between the two clubs, the Marlins and Cardinals MLB clubs will face off at 7:05 p.m. ET/6:05 p.m. CT.

How can I tune in?
MLB Network, MLB Digital (MLB.TV,, MLB App), ESPN+ and Gameday.

Which position player prospects are expected to play?

Five of the position players were invited to big league camp this spring. First baseman Troy Johnston (No. 18) and catcher Will Banfield (No. 23) have been among the top performers catching manager Skip Schumaker’s attention. The full roster is here.

As one of just two teams playing two Spring Breakout games, the Cardinals created two rosters for the two games. The first game against the Marlins will feature Masyn Winn, the club's No. 1 prospect and the projected Opening Day shortstop for St. Louis. Victor Scott II (No. 4 prospect) the Minor Leagues' co-leader in stolen bases last season with 94, is also on the roster for this game. Thomas Saggese (No. 5), the Double-A Texas League MVP last season, is available to play. The full roster is here.

Which pitching prospects are expected to play?


Headlining Miami’s group are Noble Meyer and Thomas White, both of whom were among the top prep arms available in the 2023 MLB Draft. Meyer is the organization’s lone Top 100 prospect, coming in at No. 57.

Hence, St. Louis' No. 2 prospect and MLB's No. 64, is scheduled to start for St. Louis. Roby, Hjerpe and Graceffo -- the Nos. 3, 7 and 9th-ranked prospects in the Cards system -- are available to pitch in this game. Hence has been working to add a changeup to his primary arsenal that includes an upper-90s fastball and a knee-buckling curveball. Hjerpe has opened eyes this spring with the whiffs he can generate with his funky delivery.

Why are certain top prospects not listed on the rosters?

If you don’t see a top prospect on your favorite team’s roster, it is likely because they fall into one of two categories: They are either still in big league camp and battling for a roster spot, or the player is injured or has an injury concern.

Such is the case for Marlins right-hander Max Meyer (No. 3 prospect), southpaw Dax Fulton (No. 10), outfielder Dane Myers (No. 14) and left-hander Josh Simpson (No. 25). Meyer is appearing in his first game action since undergoing Tommy John surgery in August 2022, while Fulton is rehabbing from the same procedure. Myers and Simpson, meanwhile, are vying for Opening Day roster spots.

The Cardinals are one of five MLB clubs -- the D-backs, Padres, Rockies and Mariners are the others -- who have made all of their Top 10 prospects, as ranked by MLB Pipeline, available for Spring Breakout. The Marlins are scheduled to have eight of their top 10 prospects available to play in this game.