1 prospect to watch from each team during Spring Training

March 4th, 2024

Spring Training is the perfect scenario for young players to make good impressions on their MLB organizations. Especially early on, prospects can stand out and potentially expedite their timeline to reach the Majors.

With the help of each club's MLB.com beat writer, here is each team’s standout prospect during Spring Training.

All Spring Training numbers entering Saturday's games

American League East

Blue Jays: OF Alan Roden
Roden is already an on-base machine, but the Blue Jays’ top outfield prospect is working to add some power to his game, which feels like the final piece of the puzzle here. So far, so good, as Roden ripped a bases-loaded double in his first Spring Training game and homered in the next. He should continue to get plenty of looks, too, as the Blue Jays manage the spring workloads of veterans Kevin Kiermaier and George Springer. He’s not about to win a job out of camp, but Roden is putting himself in position to be one of the most interesting players in the upper Minors of this system with a real chance to make an impact at some point in 2024. -- Keegan Matheson

Orioles: INF Coby Mayo
Plenty of talented prospects are standing out in O’s camp, so there are quite a few options here. But we’ll go with Mayo, MLB Pipeline's No. 30 overall prospect who has raked early in Grapefruit League action. Over his first six games, the 22-year-old went 5-for-12 with three doubles, two RBIs and two runs scored, reaching base in nine of 16 plate appearances. Manager Brandon Hyde has also been impressed with Mayo’s improved defense at third base, where he is getting the majority of his work this spring. It’s unlikely that Mayo will break camp with the Orioles, but he could make his MLB debut sometime in 2024. -- Jake Rill

Rays: INF Junior Caminero
After making his Major League debut during the Rays’ postseason push last year, Caminero seems likely to begin this season in Triple-A. But MLB Pipeline’s No. 4 overall prospect made a promise shortly after reporting to his first big league Spring Training, saying, “If I go to Triple-A, I’m not gonna spend a lot of time there.” The 20-year-old still has some work to do defensively, but there’s no doubt he can hit. He immediately began bashing balls around and out of Grapefruit League parks and homered to center field in his second game of the spring. -- Adam Berry

Red Sox: OF Roman Anthony
The 19-year-old, ranked No. 24 in MLB Pipeline’s Top 100, got a couple of surprising opportunities to start in center field in the first week of Grapefruit League action. Anthony isn’t in big league camp, so he was called over as a Minor League extra. He looked comfortable on the big diamond, drawing two walks in his first start and belting a pair of singles in his second game. Anthony seems mature beyond his years and the Red Sox look forward to his next appearance in camp. “He’s very disciplined,” said Red Sox manager Alex Cora. “He keeps getting stronger.” -- Ian Browne

Yankees: OF Spencer Jones
When you hit a 470-foot home run on your first swing in a Grapefruit League game, people are going to notice. That’s what is happening with Jones, and the Yankees’ top prospect is taking the increased attention in stride. Lauded as a left-handed version of Aaron Judge on Draft day, the 6-foot-6 Jones offers more than just the light-tower power that Anthony Volpe called “jaw-dropping.” Manager Aaron Boone said that Jones’ speed on the basepaths and in center field stands out, saying, “He’s a big man, but he can fly.” -- Bryan Hoch

American League Central

Guardians: 1B Kyle Manzardo
When your hitting coach compares you to Wade Boggs, you must be doing something right. The Guardians are getting their first up-close look at Manzardo, who was acquired in the trade that sent Aaron Civale to Tampa Bay in July. After a successful showing in the Arizona Fall League, he arrived in camp ready to prove that a spot on the Opening Day roster should be his. In his first three Cactus League games, Manzardo, ranked No. 59 in MLB Pipeline’s Top 100, has gone 3-for-5 with a walk. “He looks like Wade Boggs to me,” Guardians hitting coach Chris Valaika said. “He’s been awesome in the box.” -- Mandy Bell

Royals: C Carter Jensen
The Royals brought the 20-year-old Jensen to his first big league camp for the experience of being around veteran catchers and pitchers, but it’s also a chance to show the coaching staff and evaluators what the team’s No. 7 prospect can do. They’ve been impressed with how Jensen has handled the daily schedule and his at-bats in the backfields and games. He has a double and two walks so far in four games, after the work he put in this offseason on doing damage with pitches he might have missed last year in High-A Quad Cities. Jensen, a Kansas City native, isn’t about to win a job in camp, but he’s putting his name on the radar for the coming years. -- Anne Rogers

Tigers: IF Eddys Leonard
Leonard was a relative unknown heading into a prospect-heavy camp, having been acquired from the Dodgers for cash at last summer’s Trade Deadline. The No. 30 prospect had a reputation from his stretch run at Triple-A Toledo for high-energy play and an aggressive hitting style to match, and he has lived up to the billing in Tigers camp while moving all over the infield. His 5-for-12 start included two hard-hit doubles and a 407-foot home run he crushed to the top of Joker Marchant Stadium’s left-field berm on March 1. He’s a long shot to make Detroit’s Opening Day roster, but he’s having the kind of performance that leaves an impression for an in-season call-up. -- Jason Beck

Twins: RHP Matt Canterino
All eyes will be on the two top 100 guys in camp -- that’s Brooks Lee and Emmanuel Rodríguez -- but perhaps the biggest first impression has come from Canterino, who returned from Tommy John surgery with an impressive first look on the mound, touching 95 mph with his fastball from a highly unorthodox and limb-y windup, to go with a changeup and wicked slider that made even All-Stars Ozzie Albies and Matt Olson look uncomfortable at the plate. He’s still got much to prove, but he has dominated in the Minors when healthy and could pitch himself into the MLB picture soon if he maintains health. -- Do-Hyoung Park

White Sox: RHP Jordan Leasure
Leasure was also the choice for the surprise candidate to break camp with the team, and that thought process hasn’t changed for the right-hander and No. 19 White Sox prospect, per MLB Pipeline. He’s considered by many to be the closer of the future and has fanned three over two scoreless innings in two appearances with one hit and one walk. If Leasure doesn’t break camp with the team, he should be one of the first relievers called upon from the Minors. Shortstop Colson Montgomery is one of the game's top prospects, ranked No. 9 overall by Pipeline, so he’s also one to watch. Most importantly, Montgomery is healthy this spring. -- Scott Merkin

American League West

Angels: OF Nelson Rada
Rada is just 18 years old but is coming off an impressive season with Single-A Inland Empire where he was four years younger than the average competition. He’s made the most of his first three games of the spring, going 2-for-4 with three stolen bases. He’s coming off an age-17 season that saw him hit .276/.396/.346 with two homers, 13 doubles, six triples, 48 RBIs and 55 stolen bases in 115 games. He’s considered the club’s center fielder of the future and said he’s been learning from watching superstar Mike Trout. -- Rhett Bollinger

Astros: RHP Spencer Arrighetti
Arrighetti, the Astros’ top-ranked pitching prospect, was as sharp as he could be in his Grapefruit League debut on Monday against the Tigers in Lakeland. He threw two scoreless innings, allowing one hit and striking out three batters. Ranked as the team's No. 3 prospect by MLB Pipeline, Arrighetti threw 22 of his 32 pitches for strikes while mixing his four-seam fastball, slider and changeup. He averaged 92.7 mph with his fastball. Arrighetti generated six whiffs on 17 swings. He has an outside shot to make the team out of camp, which will depend on the health status of some of the team’s veteran arms. -- Brian McTaggart

Athletics: RHP Joe Boyle
After leaving a strong impression during his first big league stint last September, Boyle has transferred that into spring. The 6-foot-7 righty has looked dominant through his first two starts, allowing just one earned run with five strikeouts and no walks in 5 ⅓ innings while showing off a newly added sweeper and electric fastball that has reached up to 101 mph. In a stacked battle for Oakland’s final rotation spot, Boyle appears to be the early leader in camp. -- Martín Gallegos

Mariners: INF Cole Young
Seattle's front office hinted that Young was going to see much playing time during the early Cactus League slate, but it's been how he's handled the opportunity that's stood out. The Mariners' No. 1 prospect by MLB Pipeline entered Sunday 4-for-10 with one homer, one double and just one strikeout in five games. He's also made all the plays defensively. The moment doesn't appear too big for him, either, and it's become clear that he's closer to the Majors than his Draft day back in July 2022. -- Daniel Kramer

Rangers: 2B Justin Foscue
Evan Carter and Wyatt Langford have been the talk of the town, but Foscue -- the Rangers’ No. 6 prospect, per MLB Pipeline -- has impressed as he competes for a spot on the Opening Day roster. Though he has just three hits and a walk in six Cactus League games, Foscue has continued to showcase his defensive versatility as he gets reps at first base, second base, third base and designated hitter. -- Kennedi Landry

National League East

Braves: INF Nacho Alvarez
Alvarez might not physically look like a middle infielder, but he has proven his big frame possesses sufficient mobility and flexibility. The Braves took him in the fifth round of the 2022 MLB Draft knowing he had great offensive potential. -- Mark Bowman

Marlins: 1B/OF Troy Johnston
Johnston, whom the Marlins didn't protect ahead of the Rule 5 Draft, has picked up where he left off last season. After leading all Minor Leaguers with 116 RBIs between Double-A and Triple-A, the 26-year-old has gone 4-for-9 with an RBI, two walks and no strikeouts in five Grapefruit League games. Helping Johnson have a better chance at reaching MLB this season is his ability to play corner-outfield spots. -- Christina De Nicola

Mets: OF Drew Gilbert
It hasn’t been Gilbert’s bat that’s impressed Mets officials so much as his glove. In his first Grapefruit League game, Gilbert chased down a double off the wall and started an 8-4-5 double play to retire the runner at third. He’s handled every chance he’s had in center field and, for good measure, Gilbert added a two-run single in Tuesday's game against the Marlins. The Mets are excited by the type of all-around player that Gilbert -- one of the two prospects they received for Justin Verlander last August -- can be. -- Anthony DiComo

Nationals: OF James Wood
The Nationals' Spring Training roster is deep with a multitude of prospects who could be dubbed as the standout. Wood, who is ranked as No. 14 overall and the Nats' No. 2, gets the nod here. He has slugged three home runs in his first six games, to a slash line of .500/.588/1.143. With athleticism and agility at 6-foot-6, Wood also has two stolen bases and has been solid on defense. -- Jessica Camerato

Phillies: RHP Mick Abel
Abel had a strong showing in his Grapefruit League debut against the Yankees on Feb. 25, striking out two in a scoreless inning. Abel is back to throwing the slider he threw in high school, one that has tighter spin and more vertical break, he said. It should give him more separation with his curveball. The key for Abel this spring is pitching with conviction and not thinking so much about mechanics. If he does that, he thinks he should throw more strikes. -- Todd Zolecki

National League Central

Brewers: 3B Brock Wilken
Wilken was the Brewers' first-round Draft pick less than a year ago, but he's been the team's best hitter this spring. The 6-foot-4, 225-pound slugging corner infielder has played in six Cactus League games and been on base nine times in 11 plate appearances. Wilken is 5-for-7 with two doubles, three walks, a hit-by-pitch and four RBIs. The 21-year-old is building on a strong start to his pro career in 2023, when he posted an .887 OPS across three Minor League levels, reached Double-A in his first year out of Wake Forest and was ranked Milwaukee's No. 8 prospect by MLB Pipeline. -- Adam McCalvy

Cardinals: CF Victor Scott II
Scott II, the Minor Leagues co-leader in stolen bases last year with 94 bags, has opened eyes even though he hasn’t had the greatest success at the plate yet. He hit a 96.5 mph rocket back at Mets pitcher Josh Walker for a single in the opener for his only hit. However, in a game last week against the Nats, Scott left mouths agape with the hardest-hit ball (105.9 mph), the fastest sprint speed (30.2 feet per second) and the fastest throw (90.4 mph). He’s working daily with Cardinals legend and coach Willie McGee and he’s logging that information in a notebook that’s never far from his side. -- John Denton

Cubs: OF Owen Caissie
One of the top slugging prospects on Pipeline’s Top 100 list, the 21-year-old Caissie had ripped off seven hits (three for extra bases) through his first 11 at-bats (plus an 1.805 OPS) in Cactus League play this spring. That included a homer in Friday’s game against the White Sox. Caissie, who had more walks (three) than strikeouts (two) through his first six spring games, is ranked No. 3 on the Top 30 list for the Cubs and No. 47 on the Top 100. While the big lefty-swinging outfielder is not expected to be in the Opening Day mix for Chicago, Caissie boasts the kind of power that could put him on the Major League radar soon enough. -- Jordan Bastian

Pirates: 2B Termarr Johnson
After missing out on game action last Spring Training due to a hamstring injury early in camp, the Pirates’ 2022 first-round pick has made the most of his first real spring look and wowed at the dish. He homered twice against the Blue Jays this week, becoming the first teenager to do that in a spring game since Carlos Correa in 2014. His teammates are taking notice of what he’s doing at the plate, too. “I couldn’t imagine playing in a Major League Spring game at 19,” Bryan Reynolds said. “I was scared enough when I was however old. It’s impressive to see what [he’s] doing.” -- Alex Stumpf

Reds: SS Edwin Arroyo
Ranked No. 67 overall by MLB Pipeline, Arroyo already had the reputation of being the best defensive shortstop in the entire organization. In a handful of spring games, the 20-year-old has backed it up. In his first start, against the Angels on Feb. 25, he made a fantastic diving stop to his left for an out. Arroyo, who is likely set to open 2024 at Double-A Chattanooga, has also shown some skills offensively and that he can put some carry on the ball such as his double vs. the Dodgers on Thursday. -- Mark Sheldon

National League West

D-backs: INF Blaze Alexander
Alexander doubled in his first spring at-bat and hasn’t looked back since. He’s swinging the bat with authority and the best sign for him is that he is using an up-the-middle approach lining the ball into both gaps. The D-backs would like him to get some more experience at the Triple-A level, but they also need a backup shortstop. If Alexander continues to hit as well as play plus defense at third, short and second, the club may have to reconsider its plans. -- Steve Gilbert

Dodgers: OF Andy Pages
Pages missed the majority of the 2023 season after undergoing surgery to repair a torn labrum on his left shoulder. Despite major surgery, Pages has come into camp fully healthy and has impressed at every turn. Pages has looked the part in the outfield, showing off a strong arm. But his real strength is inside the batter’s box, and the Cuban outfielder has displayed what has made him a top prospect. Through four games, Pages is 4-for-10 with three extra-base hits, including a homer, posting a 1.500 OPS in the process. -- Juan Toribio

Giants: LHP Kyle Harrison
Harrison, who is ranked San Francisco’s No. 1 prospect, is still working to refine his command of all his pitches, but he showed how dominant he can be in his spring debut against the Rangers, striking out four over two scoreless innings. The Giants have Harrison penciled in to be their No. 2 starter this year, so they’ll be counting on the 22-year-old rookie to work more efficiently and show that he can consistently pitch deep into games this season. -- Maria Guardado

Padres: IF/OF Jackson Merrill
A lifelong shortstop, Merrill has made his transition to an outfield role look awfully easy (while still getting reps in the infield during workouts). The Padres have two vacancies in their starting outfield, and if Merrill can prove it at the plate, he’ll almost certainly fill one of those spots. Merrill, San Diego’s No. 2 ranked prospect and MLB Pipeline’s No. 12 overall, has only played 46 games at the Double-A level, so perhaps he’ll need a bit more Minor League seasoning. But he seems destined to impact the big league club sooner or later. -- AJ Cassavell

Rockies: OF Yanquiel Fernandez
The No. 72 MLB Pipeline prospect, Fernandez, who turned 21 on New Year's Day, batted .300 with a home run in his first five Spring Training games. Fernandez’s power comes well-advertised, and he has opened some eyes with his arm and his athletic ability in the outfield. The Rockies are feeding him consistent Cactus League playing to help him learn to time up Major League fastballs and develop situational savvy. Fernandez touched Double-A last season. -- Thomas Harding