20 most notable and interesting global prospects in Spring Breakout

March 12th, 2024
Design by Tom Forget

When the inaugural Spring Breakout begins on Thursday, baseball fans will get a peek at what the future might look like as every team sends its best and brightest Minor League talent to the competition that will run through Sunday.

Just as the Major League rosters have seen an uptick in players coming from all over the world, Spring Breakout has gone global, too. Out of the 780 players partaking, over 250 were born in 19 countries and territories outside the United States. (For the purposes of this article, we're including Puerto Rico and Canada. Even though those players are Draft-eligible, they would also be able to play for those teams in an upcoming World Baseball Classic.)

Before all the action begins, let’s run down some of the biggest and brightest names from around the world that will be taking part in this weekend’s action. While we’ll obviously highlight the top prospects, we also want to give a sense of just how truly global the game has become, so we will also spotlight ballplayers from the Netherlands, Uganda, and New Zealand just to name a few. It’s not just about running down the highest-ranked prospects in the game, after all! (And if you want that article, well, click here.)

1. Jackson Chourio, OF - Brewers
Top 100 ranking: No. 2
Team ranking: No. 1
Birthplace: Maracaibo, Venezuela

You don't need me to hype up Chourio. If you're reading this, chances are good that you are well aware of the Brewers' outfield phenom. Originally signed as a shortstop for $1.8 million, the 20-year-old spent last year bashing 22 home runs with an .805 OPS in Double-A as a teenager before signing an eight-year deal with the Brewers in December. He's already on the shortlist for NL Rookie of the Year this season, so get your last looks at him as a prospect while you can.

2. Samuel Basallo, C - Orioles
Top 100 ranking: 17

Team ranking: 2
Birthplace: Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic

Just 19 years old, Basallo flew through three levels last year, smashing the ball at every stop along the way. Scouts rave about the bat, and with good reason: He hit 20 home runs and posted a .953 OPS last year. While there are questions over whether he'll be able to hang behind the dish, the bat is loud enough to work wherever Basallo may end up.

3. Adael Amador, SS/2B - Rockies
Top 100 ranking: 28
Team ranking: 1
Birthplace: Santiago, Dominican Republic

A switch-hitting middle infielder who walks more than he strikes out? That's enough to be the perfect ballplayer. Inked during the 2019-20 signing period, Amador didn't get to make his Minor League debut until 2021 because of the pandemic, but he's made up for lost time. He has a career .401 Minor League OBP to go along with 31 home runs and 51 stolen bases.

4. Jeferson Quero, C - Brewers
Top 100 ranking: 35

Team ranking: 3
Birthplace: Barquisimeto, Venezuela

The Brewers have an abundance of Minor League riches, as evidenced by Quero ranking third in the team's system. Quero just may be the best defensive catching prospect in the Minors. He won the 2023 Rawlings Minor League Gold Glove Award, with MLB Pipeline noting that his receiving, blocking, and framing "can look as smooth as it gets."

5. Emmanuel Rodriguez, OF - Twins
Top 100 ranking: 42
Team ranking: 3
Birthplace: Santiago, Dominican Republic

Signed to a $2.5 million deal in the 2019-20 signing class, this left-handed hitting outfielder combines power, a whip-like bat, and advanced plate discipline. Though he's dealt with injuries each of the last two years that have slowed him down, he'll be just 21 years old this year and posted a .927 OPS from June 1 through the end of last season.

6. Tyler Black, 3B/1B - Brewers
Top 100 ranking: 46

Team ranking: 4
Birthplace: Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Another player, another Brewer. Clearly, Milwaukee's international scouting team knows what it is doing. (They will also have the only German-born battery in the game if prospects Paul Hoff and Yannic Walther ever reach the Majors.)

A corner infielder, Black smashed 18 home runs with a .930 OPS between Double- and Triple-A last year while also hitting 12 triples and stealing 55 bags -- both of which led Brewers Minor Leaguers. While the glove will determine if he ends up at third or first base, the rest of Black's game looks pretty close to Major League-ready.

(Pipeline's Sam Dykstra also said, "Keep your eye on Dylan O’Rae." Another Canadian and Milwaukee's No. 21 prospect, he's an up-the-middle ballplayer with good on-base skills and plenty of speed.)

7. Owen Caissie, OF - Cubs
Top 100 ranking: 47

Team ranking: 3
Birthplace: Burlington, Ontario, Canada

The next World Baseball Classic in 2026 could be Canada's year as players like Black, Caissie, and 2023 WBC star Edouard Julien could all be at the center of the team's lineup by that time. Drafted 45th overall in 2020 -- the highest selection for a Canadian ballplayer -- Caissie displays some seriously impressive bat speed and exit velocities, giving us dreams of 30-to-40 home run seasons in the Majors. The question for a player like Caissie will always be if he can rein in the strikeouts enough, but the power is for real.

8. Luisangel Acuña, SS/2B - Mets
Top 100 ranking: 66
Team ranking: 3
Birthplace: Caracas, Venezuela

Yes, Luisangel is related to Ronald, so the hype train among Mets fans has already left the station. Originally signed by the Rangers for $425,000, the Mets acquired the middle infielder in the Max Scherzer trade last summer and started playing him at second base with Francisco Lindor holding down shortstop in Queens.

Though he lacks the size and power of his older brother, Acuña has all the speed -- swiping 57 bags last year and getting the team thinking about giving him an audition in center field, too.

9. Edwin Arroyo, SS - Reds
Top 100 ranking: 67
Team ranking: 3
Birthplace: Arecibo, Puerto

Drafted in the second round by the Mariners, Arroyo was one of four prospects that Cincinnati received in exchange for Luis Castillo in 2022. Though he struggled at the start of last year, he closed out the season strong and got a promotion to Double-A. While the bat intrigues, Arroyo's speed and glove are his real calling cards.

10. Sebastian Walcott, SS - Rangers
Top 100 ranking: 71
Team ranking: 3
Birthplace: Nassau, Bahamas

The Bahamas are fast becoming a real force in baseball and some scouts believe that Walcott might be the best player to come from the island. Though he struggles with strikeouts, Walcott turns 18 on Thursday and has had a taste of High-A. Already smashing baseballs with 110-plus mph exit velocity, Walcott could be a 30 home run star. Even if he outgrows shortstop, he has the arm for playing the hot corner.

11. Ceddanne Rafaela, OF/SS - Red Sox
Top 100 ranking: 76
Team ranking: 4
Birthplace: Willemstad,

Rafaela made it into 28 Major League games last year and has spent Spring Training giving the Red Sox front office a difficult decision to make about the Opening Day roster. For now, though, Rafaela is in Spring Breakout and will be looking to show off his defensive skills. Though he's most likely to be an outfielder in the Majors, Rafaela has seen plenty of time at short and second during his ascent through the Minors. He doesn't have much power and there's a little too much whiff in his game, but Rafaela's glove on its own makes him Major League-worthy.

12. Yu-Min Lin, P - D-backs
Top 100 ranking: N/A
Team ranking: 4
Birthplace: Taitung, Taiwan

Just 20 years old entering this season, Lin showed off his devastating changeup while reaching Double-A last year, where he held his own against players with much more experience. Armed with a five-pitch mix, Lin led the D-backs system with 140 strikeouts in 121 1/3 frames. Though his fastball sits in the low-90s, Lin's offspeed offerings give him mid-rotation upside in the future.

13. Won-Bin Cho, OF - Cardinals
Top 100 ranking: N/A
Team ranking: 10
Birthplace: Seongnam, South Korea

Cho skipped the KBO draft in 2021, instead moving to Atlanta one month after his 18th birthday before signing with the Cardinals in 2022. Already forging a unique career path, Cho didn't show much power in A-ball last year, but has impressed scouts with his triple-digit exit velocity hinting at more to come. Still, hitting .270 with a .376 on-base percentage at 20 years old is nothing to sneeze at.

14. Sem Robberse, P - Cardinals
Top 100 ranking: N/A
Team ranking: 13
Birthplace: Zeist, Netherlands

Only one player -- Win Remmerswaal -- has reached the Major Leagues after first playing in the Netherlands' top baseball league, the Honkbal Hoofdklasse. Well, if Robberse gets a callup, he'll be the second, having played for HCAW and Amersfoort when he was just 16 and 17. Signed by the Blue Jays in 2019, Robberse was traded to St. Louis at the Deadline last year in exchange for Jordan Hicks and earned a trip to Triple-A for his efforts.

Though Robberse's low-90s fastball may not be drool-worthy, his blend of offspeed pitches has him on the cusp of a Major League promotion.

15. Leodalis De Vries, SS - Padres
Top 100 ranking: N/A
Team ranking: 6
Birthplace: Azua, Dominican Republic

Ignore that lack of a Top 100 ranking because it will most likely change as soon as the youngest player at Spring Breakout starts playing games in the Padres' system. Signed for $4.2 million -- the largest contract during the international signing period this winter -- hopes are high for the switch-hitting shortstop with oodles of talent all across the board.

16. Samuel Aldegheri, P - Phillies
Top 100 ranking: N/A
Team ranking: 24
Birthplace: Verona, Italy

The 6-foot-1 left-hander has the stuff that could easily play at the back of a big league rotation: A low-90s fastball that can touch 95 to go along with an average slider, curveball and developing changeup. That talent has him on the cusp of making some baseball history: The last time an Italian-born pitcher was in the Major Leagues was Marino Pieretti, whose career ended in 1950. (The last Italian-born position player to reach the Majors was Alex Liddi in 2011).

"Baseball has become a way of life for me," Aldegheri said when he was first signed in 2019. "I wake up every morning thinking about playing and training."

17. Adam Macko, P - Blue Jays
Top 100 ranking: N/A
Team ranking: 9
Birthplace: Bratislava, Slovakia

Forget Pitbull -- we should be calling Macko "Mr. Worldwide." Born in Bratislava, Macko grew up in Ireland before playing high school baseball in Alberta, Canada. While Macko is currently outside MLB Pipeline's Top 100 prospects, fans and scouts are high on the pitcher, who was acquired by the Blue Jays in the Teoscar Hernández deal with the Mariners in 2022. Armed with a mid-90s fastball and a looping 12-6 curve, Macko closed the year strong. He struck out 26 batters over his final 15 innings, giving up just one run and three hits.

18. Carlos F. Rodriguez, P - Brewers
Top 100 ranking: N/A
Team ranking: 8
Birthplace: Rivas, Nicaragua

Rodriguez may not have the hype of some of the other prospects on this list, but you can't fault him for what he's actually done on the ballfield. He and Robert Gasser shared the Brewers' Minor League Pitcher of the Year Award for 2023 after posting a 2.77 ERA in Double-A and earned a promotion to Triple-A for one start at the end of the year.

Though not blessed with elite velocity, Rodriguez has three fastball shapes and a bevy of offspeed offerings to keep batters off-kilter. He showed that ability when he pitched four innings of one-run ball for Nicaragua in the World Baseball Classic last spring.

19. David Matoma, P - Pirates
Top 100 ranking: N/A
Team ranking: N/A
Birthplace: Kasana, Uganda

Uganda just may be the next hotbed for the sport. The Dodgers have started an academy in the country and catcher Dennis Kasumba saw action in the MLB Draft League last summer before appearing as a pinch-runner in the Baseball United showcase in November. Right now, they're all behind Matoma, who struck out 14 batters and didn't allow a run in 16 2/3 innings in the Dominican Summer League last year for the Pirates.

One of the youngest players at Spring Breakout, Matoma has a long way to go to reach the Majors, but showing his stuff in contests like this will be a good start.

20. Nikau Pouaka-Grego, 2B/3B - Phillies
Top 100 ranking: N/A
Team ranking: 30
Birthplace: Christchurch, New Zealand

There's never been a New Zealand-born player in the Major Leagues -- something Pouaka-Grego will be looking to change. Signed by the Phillies for $220,000 in 2022, the middle infielder tore an ACL in the Australian Baseball League that winter and missed the entire 2023 season. Healthy and back on the field this year, Pouaka-Grego will be looking to make up for lost time and start rising up the ranks.