It's good to see familiar faces return to the field after a long, slow offseason. But it's thrilling to watch top prospects show intensity this early in the spring.On the second full day of Spring Training, all eyes were on two-way phenom Shohei Ohtani, the No. 1 overall prospect in
It's good to see familiar faces return to the field after a long, slow offseason. But it's thrilling to watch top prospects show intensity this early in the spring.
On the second full day of Spring Training, all eyes were on two-way phenom Shohei Ohtani, the No. 1 overall prospect in baseball, in his pitching debut against the Brewers. The much-anticipated outing featured electric talent and potential for growth.
Top prospects from the Rockies are also coming out of the gate fiery hot, with five players combining for nine hits and five RBIs in the process. Cardinals prospects showed skill with the leather, including a diving catch by Harrison Bader as he fought the Florida sun for the out.
Without further ado, here's a first-look at how some of the game's biggest prospect names performed on Saturday:
• Ohtani gave up two runs (one earned) and struck out two batters over 1 1/3 innings in his Cactus League debut against Milwaukee. He was stung when Keon Broxton took him deep on a leadoff home run in the second inning, one of two hits Ohtani gave up through 31 pitches on Saturday. But the 23-year-old Japanese phenom showed a deep arsenal, topping out on a 97 mph fastball and notching a strikeout on a 69-mph curveball. Despite Ohtani's shaky Spring Training debut, the rookie proved to live up to the hype.
• A trio of Phillies prospects in J.P. Crawford, Jorge Alfaro and Roman Quinn combined to go 5-for-6 with a walk, a home run, three runs and five RBIs against the Orioles. Alfaro knocked five home runs in 29 games last season and picked up right where he left off with a grand slam off veteran Dylan Bundy in the second inning.
• Another trio showed massive potential on the Cardinals squad. Carson Kelly, Bader and Randy Arozarena combined for two doubles, a home run, two RBIs, a stolen base and a walk to cap their Saturday matinee going 5-for-12.
• Athletics prospect Franklin Barreto (No. 66 overall) belted a monster home run in the first inning to put the A's on the board quickly. The highly-touted 21-year-old finished 1-for-2 with two RBIs.
• Orioles No. 7 prospect Cedric Mullins turned the jets on and made a phenomenal diving catch in shallow center, smoothly doubling up a runner amidst the action. The 23-year-old went 0-for-2 against the Phillies at the plate, contributing mostly with the leather.
• The Marlins showed electric and promising power from the hill as pitching prospect Sandy Alcantara (No. 3) tossed two perfect innings and struck out a batter against the Nationals. 22-year-old Merandy Gonzalez (No. 16) rocked another perfect inning while notching two strikeouts en route to a save.
• A quartet of Astros pitching prospects walked off with goose eggs in their individual ERAs. Cionel Perez (No. 6), David Paulino (No. 8), Framber Valdez (No. 16) and Riley Ferrell (No. 20) combined for six strong innings, allowing just one unearned run on four hits and three walks while punching out six.
• The Rockies' top prospects are ready to put the offseason behind them. Jordan Patterson went 3-for-3 with two doubles, Ryan McMahon (No. 41 overall) tallied two RBIs and a walk and Garrett Hampson swiped a bag while going 1-for-2. Brian Mundell saw the most at-bats out of the bunch, going 3-for-4 with two RBIs and a walk. Sam Hilliard tacked on another RBI to complete the quintet of Colorado prospects' successful day.
• If fans could peel their eyes away from new Yankee giant Giancarlo Stanton for a moment, they'd witness prospect Billy McKinney showing up when it matters most. The 23-year-old exemplified power on a three-run home run that broke a tie in the ninth inning, leading the Yankees to a 4-1 win against the Pirates.
• Padres prospect Franchy Cordero created a buzz in San Diego last season, smashing three home runs and 21 hits in 30 games. The 23-year-old collected his first dinger and a pair of RBIs in a tough Padres loss to the A's on Saturday.
• Mets No. 10 prospect Luis Guillorme added to the rookie home run parade by cranking a solo shot off the Cardinals' Bud Norris in the fifth inning. He finished the Mets' second day of spring games by going 1-for-2 with an RBI.
Deesha Thosar is a reporter for MLB.com based in New York City. Follow her on Twitter at @DeeshaThosar.