How Spring Breakout can be early taste of intracity rivalry

February 15th, 2024

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- There will be plenty of years and numerous regular season Interleague contests where shortstop and left-handed hurler will lead the White Sox in their intracity battle against the Cubs.

But for Montgomery and Schultz, the club's respective No. 1 and No. 2 prospects per MLB Pipeline, their first taste of this Chicago baseball rivalry could come on March 15 at Sloan Park in Mesa, Ariz., as part of the Spring Breakout series. The game has a first pitch of 4:05 p.m. CT and will be televised on MLB’s digital platforms (MLB app,, MLB.TV) and the Cubs’ Marquee Network.

Spring Breakout will showcase baseball’s future stars as each Major League club will field a team of top prospects that will play a team of top prospects from another organization in an exhibition game. Rosters will be revealed live on a special MLB Network program on Thursday, March 7, at 10 a.m. CT, co-hosted by Matt Vasgersian and Harold Reynolds. Spring Breakout participants will join the MLB Tonight program, which will be simulcast on MLB’s digital platforms. Commentary will be provided by MLB Pipeline experts from Spring Training in Arizona and Florida.

Montgomery, who turns 22 on Feb. 27, is MLB Pipeline's No. 9 overall prospect and in big league camp for a second straight year as a non-roster invite. In 2023, the left-handed hitter posted a .939 OPS in 64 games across three levels, totaling the same number of walks as strikeouts (56). Montgomery probably won’t break camp with the White Sox, but his debut should be coming in '24.

“Players like that let you know when they're ready to be at the Major League level,” White Sox general manager Chris Getz said of Montgomery. “I've certainly spoken about it at length in the past about what he brings to the table. He's very mature in the box. Very under control.

“Obviously he's got power potential. He understands what it takes to be successful at the Major League level, even though he doesn't have too much baseball experience, which is amazing to say. But that just speaks to the talent he has. We're excited and we're very fortunate to have Colson. Certainly we want to get off to a good start, keeping him on the field and set him up for success this year."

Schultz, 20, ranks as the No. 50 overall prospect. After being the team's first pick in the 2022 MLB Draft, Schultz has impressed since taking the mound as a professional, striking out 38 over 27 innings and posting a 1.33 ERA in 10 starts for Single-A Kannapolis in '23.

While the 6-foot-9 southpaw is not in big league camp, the Spring Breakout matchup should give him another taste of top competition.

“It's about getting the innings and the workload for Noah Schultz,” Getz said. “Certainly health is going to be a huge component of that. He's had a very smooth offseason as well. He continues to build out his frame and challenge his body to be able to respond on a daily basis as a starting pitcher.

“The weapons are there. It's just a matter of the workload. In terms of performance, last year from a pitching standpoint, when he was out there, he was one of the top pitchers in baseball. Now it's just a matter of accumulating the innings for him so we can continue to stretch him out and see what he's capable of doing on a regular basis.”

Right-handers Nick Nastrini (White Sox No. 6), Jordan Leasure (No. 19) and Jonathan Cannon (No. 10), catcher Edgar Quero (No. 3), outfielder George Wolkow (No. 15) and shortstop Jacob Gonzalez (No. 4) are among the Spring Breakout roster possibilities for the White Sox. Quero, Nastrini, Cannon and Leasure are non-roster invites to big league camp.

Nastrini said the competition sounded interesting, adding with a smile how he might get to throw against outfielder Pete Crow-Armstrong, the Cubs' No. 1 prospect and baseball's No. 16 overall prospect. The 23-year-old right-hander, who had 139 strikeouts in 114 2/3 innings across three levels in 2023, is two years older than the 21-year-old Crow-Armstrong, but they grew up in a similar area of California.

“He went to a high school with a couple of my teammates at UCLA,” Nastrini said. “So, we know mutual people.”