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Tampa Bay Rays Spring Breakout Preview

The highly anticipated Spring Breakout game weekend has begun. MLB’s newest endeavor to highlight minor league talent has not disappointed fans. Teams will play their best and brightest minor league stars for all to see. This game will consist of minor league prospects playing against each other. Two games were played on Thursday and resulted in the Reds 4-1 win over the Rangers, and the Pirates beat the Orioles 3-1. The weekend continues with five games on Friday, seven on Saturday, and the final two games on Sunday. The Rays are scheduled to play on Saturday versus the Twins in Ft Myers at 4pm.

The Rays will play a doubleheader on Saturday. Game one is the standard Spring Training game and game two will be the Spring Breakout game. Fans will enjoy what I call “bonus baseball.” Game one’s roster will consist of players at the MLB level or trying out for a spot on the Rays roster. Game two’s roster will consist of players who have been designated for the minor leagues. Certain prospects will be in big league camp and will not qualify for the Spring Breakout game.

MLB’s number four overall (Rays #1) prospect Junior Caminero is headlining the Rays’ roster with a series of exceptional talent. The Rays’ number two prospect, Carson Williams will play shortstop. Scouts have given high scores in his fielding. The pitcher-turned-shortstop has exceptional arm strength. Other noteworthy players are slick fielding Adrian Santana and slugging first baseman Xavier Isaac. All eight infielders are ranked in the top 23 prospects in the organization. I was disappointed when I noticed shortstop/outfielder Greg Jones was not on the roster.

In the outfield, Chandler Simpson is the one to watch. This speedster is being compared to former MLB player Billy Hamilton. Hamilton has topped 100 stolen bases in the Minors twice. Simpson is ranked number 12 in the organization and is projected to reach the MLB in 2025. Watch him on the basepaths. Scouts have given Simpson the highest rating possible for his speed.

Behind the plate is power hitting prospect Dominic Keegan (Rays #6). I mentioned him in the Spring Training preview article last month. He is expected to start the season in AA ball and is projected to make the Rays roster next season. Keegan is the only catcher in the Rays top 30 prospect list. He has seen time at first base in college. It will be interesting to see if that plays a part in his development. Other catchers that began behind the plate and played other positions were Bryce Harper, Criag Biggio, and Yogi Berra.

The pitching depth is weak. Only Trevor Martin is ranked and he is ranked at number 20. Scouts have reported the right-hander has a fastball reaching low to mid 90s but displays inconsistencies with secondary pitches. The Rays are optimistic that Martin will be MLB-ready in 2025.

Win or lose, this weekend is about seeing what type of talent is growing down on the farm. This is an impressive opportunity for young players to demonstrate their talents in front of their organizational leadership. Fans will also get to see what the future holds for their team. This weekend’s games can spark a fanfest around certain future player or players. In addition, an impressive debut could inspire trade rumors. Either way, it is time to let the kids play. #RaysUp


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