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Tatis, Robles among prospect standouts in openers

February 23, 2018

A number of baseball's brightest young talents starred on the opening day of Spring Training games, as top prospects from across the league flashed their immense potential.Victor Robles (No. 6 overall) and Fernando Tatis Jr. (No. 8 overall) impressed on both sides of the ball while Lewis Brinson (No. 27

A number of baseball's brightest young talents starred on the opening day of Spring Training games, as top prospects from across the league flashed their immense potential.
Victor Robles (No. 6 overall) and Fernando Tatis Jr. (No. 8 overall) impressed on both sides of the ball while Lewis Brinson (No. 27 overall) showcased his diverse skill set in his inaugural game with the Marlins.
The day got off to a tough start when the baseball world discovered the Rays' Brent Honeywell (No. 18 overall) will likely need Tommy John surgery. The news turned more optimistic as the day went on with the excitement of Gleyber Torres (No. 5 overall) putting on a Yankees jersey and returning to game action for the first time in eight months.
Torres went 0-for-2, but his health is far more important than the on-field results, especially in late February.

With all that being said, let's take a look at how some of the highly-touted youngsters performed on the field:
• Robles, the No. 6 overall prospect, has a particularly impressive toolset that makes it easy to see why he's so highly touted. After batting .250 in limited time with the Nationals last season, Robles worked his way onto the postseason roster and then performed well in the Arizona Fall League. The outfielder picked up right where he left off as he went 1-for-1 with a double, a walk and then showed off his 70-grade defense with a diving catch in center field.

• No. 8 overall prospect Tatis Jr., who hit a career-high 22 homers in 131 games last season, showed off some power with his first homer of the spring, a solo shot to right field in the eighth inning.
• No. 14 overall prospect Brendan Rodgers drove in a pair of runs in the Rockies' 7-6 loss against the D-backs. Rodgers collected an RBI groundout in the fifth and then capped his afternoon with a solo homer in the 10th.
• No. 22 overall prospect Willy Adames put the Rays on the board early as he drove in a run via a sacrifice fly in the first and later added a single as part of a 1-for-2 afternoon. While Adames got off to a quick start at the plate, Yonny Chirinos started fast on the mound. The 24-year-old right-hander put up a pair of zeros, walked one and gave up one hit in his first action of the year.

• No. 27 overall prospect Brinson (Marlins' No. 1) showed off a bit of his skillset in his Marlins debut. Brinson, whom the Marlins acquired from the Brewers in January, made a diving catch in center and also doubled in a 1-for-2 effort.

• No. 38 overall prospect Jack Flaherty (Cardinals' No. 2) was perfect with a pair of strikeouts in his two innings of work. Just as Flaherty was impressive starting the game, Jordan Hicks (Cardinals' No. 7) was impressive at the end. Hicks, who has already drawn rave reviews from his teammates, struck out a pair in a scoreless frame.
• The Pirates' No. 2 prospect (and No. 45 overall), Austin Meadows got off to a blazing start to Spring Training, going 3-for-3 with a pair of doubles, a walk and two RBIs. Meadows has struggled with injuries to this point in his young career, but Pittsburgh is hoping for a breakout season in 2018 from the 22-year-old.
"Austin had a nice day. It was good for him," Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said. "Three barrels. Drove in some runs. Swung the bat well. He looked good."
Meadows hasn't played more than 100 games since 2015 as injuries have been a recurring problem during the early stages of his career.
"First things first. My body felt really good out there," Meadows said. "I felt healthy. I thought I was seeing the ball really well out there and things happened. It was a good first day."
• No. 56 overall prospect Keston Hiura can certainly hit. The Brewers' No. 1 prospect batted .442 at UC Irvine before the Brewers picked him ninth overall last season, then he hit .371 in 42 games across two levels in the Minors. So it only makes sense that Hiura began his 2018 campaign with a pair of knocks, going 2-for-3 with an RBI in the Brewers' win over the Giants.

• No. 58 overall prospect Kolby Allard threw a scoreless frame for the Braves. The 20-year-old walked the first batter he faced, but then induced a ground-ball double play and a flyout to finish off the outing.
• No. 69 overall prospect Corbin Burnes (Brewers' No. 2) had a breakthrough season in 2017 as he finished second in the Minors with a 1.67 ERA and was named the Brewers' Minor League Pitcher of the Year. Of course, one inning in February is just that, but Burnes did throw well as he struck out two in a perfect inning.

Orioles No. 3 prospect Chance Sisco isn't a big power hitter considering he hit nine homers in 107 games between Triple-A Norfolk and Baltimore last season. However, the catching prospect put his pop on display in the ninth inning of the Orioles' 6-2 loss to the Rays. Sisco, who singled in his first at-bat and finished 2-for-2, provided all of Baltimore's offense with a three-run opposite-field homer.

Astros No. 12 prospect Rogelio Armenteros struck out 146 batters in 123 2/3 innings across two levels last season and showed some of that swing-and-miss stuff against the Nationals. Armenteros struck out three of the first four batters he faced as he cruised through two hitless innings.

Mets No. 16 prospect Corey Oswalt racked up four strikeouts in two scoreless frames. The right-hander struck out the first batter he faced in the sixth and then struck out the side in the seventh before exiting the game.
• Giants prospect Steven Duggar is going to get every opportunity to win a spot on the Opening Day roster, and he made a strong first impression with a two-run double in the second inning. Duggar, who finished 1-for-3, hit .262 in 44 games last season.

William Boor is a reporter for Follow him on Twitter at @wboor.