Major League Baseball announced the creation of “Spring Breakout,” a four-day series of exhibition games in which an organization’s top prospects will participate in Spring Training contests against the best minor league talents of other teams. Next year’s event will take place between March 14 and 17.
“Spring Breakout will provide a new opportunity to showcase the future stars of the game as they continue on their journey to the Major Leagues,” commissioner Rob Manfred said in the press release. “Our fans will get unique opportunities to meet our best prospects, get autographs, and see the next generation of Major Leaguers up close. We are thrilled that Major League Baseball, Minor League Baseball and all of our Clubs are working closer than ever to grow the game and to shine a brighter light on our future All-Stars.”
While it’s not uncommon for highly-regarded prospects to participate in Spring Training contests, they’re frequently plugged in as late-game substitutions alongside the MLB roster. Lower minors players are often in the minor league portion of Spring Training while playing on the backfields at teams’ complexes.
Before today, there hadn’t been anything specifically designed to get a club’s most talented young players (regardless of age and level) all on the same field in front of a larger audience. This won’t dramatically change the spring season but sets aside a few days to give fans a look at the future of the organizations.
Jeff Passan of ESPN reported the news shortly before the league announcement.