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Everything to know about Spring Breakout

Tickets, special rules and more as Minor Leaguers take big stage
March 6, 2024

One of the great joys of the annual All-Star Futures Game is the chance to put some of the game’s top prospects on one field in the middle of the summer and let them show off the tools that make them the future of baseball. But what if instead of

One of the great joys of the annual All-Star Futures Game is the chance to put some of the game’s top prospects on one field in the middle of the summer and let them show off the tools that make them the future of baseball.

But what if instead of one team for the American League and another for the National League, we allowed all 30 farm systems to form rosters full of their own prospects? And what if instead of one exhibition, we had 16? And what if instead of waiting for July, we pushed the series up four months?

Well, then we’d have Spring Breakout, a new Spring Training event arriving for 2024.

To better prepare fans for the inaugural edition, here are answers to some frequently asked questions:

What is Spring Breakout?
Spring Breakout is a new Major League Baseball initiative aimed at showcasing the game’s young talent during the Spring Training period. Sixteen contests will be held across Arizona and Florida -- the Reds and Cardinals will play a pair each because of the uneven number of clubs in each state -- as part of the series. Twelve of the 16 games will be played as part of a traditional doubleheader with the Major League Spring Training game that day.

When are the games, and how can I watch?
All Breakout games will be held between March 14-17 across the Grapefruit and Cactus Leagues, and the majority will be televised through, MLB Network or regional sports networks. The full schedule is below, with broadcast channels included in parentheses. Broadcast details and game times are subject to change.

Thursday, March 14
• Reds @ Rangers, 6:05 p.m. ET/3:05 p.m. PT* (TBD)
• Orioles @ Pirates, 7:05 p.m. ET/4:05 p.m. PT* (MLBD/MLBN/SportsNet Pittsburgh)

Friday, March 15
• Marlins @ Cardinals, 2:05 p.m. ET/11:05 a.m. PT* (MLBD/MLBN)
• Nationals @ Mets, 3:10 p.m. ET/12:10 p.m. PT* (MLBD/SNY/ audio)
• Padres @ Mariners, 4:10 p.m. ET/1:10 p.m. PT (MLBD/MLBN/Root Sports/Padres.TV/Mariners radio)
• White Sox @ Cubs, 5:05 p.m. ET/2:05 p.m. PT (MLBD/Marquee)
• Giants @ Athletics, 7:05 p.m. ET/4:05 p.m. PT*

Saturday, March 16
• Braves @ Red Sox, 1:05 p.m. ET/10:05 a.m. PT (MLBD/MLBN/NESN)
• Phillies @ Tigers, 1:05 p.m. ET/10:05 a.m. PT (MLBD/Tigers.TV/Phillies radio)
• Blue Jays @ Yankees, 4:05 p.m. ET/1:05 p.m. PT* (MLBD/MLBN/YES/Jays Radio)
• Rays @ Twins, 4:05 p.m. ET/1:05 p.m. PT* (TBD)
• Dodgers @ Angels, 7:10 p.m. ET/4:10 p.m. PT*
• Guardians @ Reds, 7:05 p.m. ET/4:05 p.m. PT^ (MLBD/ audio)
• D-backs @ Rockies, 7:10 p.m. ET/4:10 p.m. PT (MLBD/MLBN/Rockies.TV)

Sunday, March 17
• Astros @ Cardinals, 10:05 a.m. ET/7:05 a.m. PT^ (MLBD/Astros radio)
• Brewers @ Royals, 4:05 p.m. ET/1:05 p.m. PT (TBD)

* -- paired with Major League game as traditional doubleheader
^ – broadcast is audio-only
Carriers key:
MLBD = MLB Digital platforms (MLB app,, MLB.TV)
MLBN = MLB Network

Who is playing?

Each roster will be constructed using MLB Pipeline’s Top 30 Prospects list as its foundation. That means that players with rookie eligibility entering the 2024 season -- most of whom will come directly from those Top 30s -- can crack their club’s Spring Breakout roster. Major League rookie eligibility is defined as any player who has not yet exceeded 130 at-bats, 50 innings pitched or 45 total regular-season days on an active roster at the game’s top level. So even players with Major League experience could participate in Spring Breakout if added to their respective rosters, which will include 23-27 players per club.

The rosters consist of 71 of MLB Pipeline's Top 100 Prospects and nearly two-thirds of the 900 players on Pipeline's organization Top 30 Prospects lists. Twenty-one of the 30 teams plan on sending their top prospect, as rated by MLB Pipeline. The Cardinals, Diamondbacks, Mariners and Rockies will have each of their 10 best prospects participate. The Astros, Nationals, Pirates, Red Sox, Royals and Twins will feature nine of their top 10 prospects.

Are there any special Spring Breakout rules?
Indeed! Let’s break them down by categories:

Length: Each Spring Breakout game will last seven innings, unless both teams agree to extend the contest to nine frames. The Padres and Mariners (Friday), Phillies and Tigers (Saturday) and Angels and Dodgers (Saturday) are all playing nine innings. There are no extra innings, so games can end in a tie.

ABS challenges: The Automated Ball-Strike Challenge system will be in effect for games played in five Florida State League venues (Bradenton, Fort Myers [Twins], Jupiter, Port St. Lucie, Tampa) and Salt River Fields at Talking Stick. Each team will be able to challenge at least three ball-strike calls. A successful overturn gets the challenge returned to the club, and that continues until the club has three unsuccessful challenges.

The size of the strike zone will be determined by 53.5 percent of the batter’s height at the top, 27 percent of the batter’s height at the bottom and 17 inches wide as measured at the middle of the plate.

Three-batter minimum: There will be no three-batter minimum for pitchers upon entry into the game. This will allow clubs to feature as many arms as possible in this showcase format.

Player re-entry: Think of this as the Ohtani rule. If a pitcher is taken out of a Spring Breakout game, he may come back in later. (This only counts for pitchers, not position players unless an injury requires a substitution.) So a two-way player could pitch one inning on the mound, then return as a position player a few frames afterward.

Other notables: The games will use a pitch timer. PitchCom communication is allowed between pitcher and catcher. All clubs will be limited to seven mound visits per game.

Where are the games?
Games will be played at the Major League field of the home club’s Spring Training facility.

How can I get tickets?
Links to all available Spring Breakout tickets can be found on the event’s homepage here. They can also be purchased directly on each club’s Spring Training tickets website. Of note, select attendees will get a free pack of cards featuring Spring Breakout players.

Do I need a separate ticket for doubleheader games?
No. Clubs hosting twin bills with the regular Major League Spring Training game allow fans to attend both contests with a single ticket.

What are the best matchups?
That Pirates-Orioles opener in the Sunshine State is what this event’s all about. Pittsburgh and Baltimore are two of only five farm systems that boast five or more prospects ranked among MLB Pipeline’s Top 100. As if that wasn’t enough, this game could pit 2022 No. 1 overall pick Jackson Holliday against 2023 No. 1 overall pick Paul Skenes in what would be one of the spring’s most highly anticipated at-bats.

Elsewhere, the Rays-Twins game will feature seven Top 100 prospects. Those looking for fun bragging rights should keep an eye on Cubs-White Sox (battle of Chicago), Giants-A’s (battle of the Bay Area), Padres-Mariners (battle of Peoria) and Marlins-Cardinals (battle of Jupiter).

Sam Dykstra is a reporter for Follow and interact with him on Twitter, @SamDykstraMiLB.