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10 MLB Prospects Who Impressed On The Arizona Backfields — College Baseball, MLB Draft, Prospects

10 MLB Prospects Who Impressed On The Arizona Backfields — College Baseball, MLB Draft, Prospects

Spring training is over. The major league and Triple-A seasons are in full swing, and the rest of the full-season minor leagues will open on April 5. In advance, Baseball America spent a week on the backfields in Arizona trying to pack as many prospects as possible into seven days.

Arizona’s minor league complexes being so tightly packed meant that one could view multiple games a day, and there were many days in the desert when part of a game in the morning could be followed by full games in the afternoon and evening.

The result was a wide variety of prospects, including a flotilla of talented pitching prospects spread across the east and west parts of the valley. Find are notes and video on some of the players who stood out the most below. As always, you can find every team’s Top 30 Prospects here.

Noah Schultz, LHP, White Sox

There is no doubting Schultz’s prodigious arm talent. He brings loads of lightning from the left side every time he takes the mound. Problem is, health has kept him from taking the mound as often as he or the White Sox would like. His 2023 season was delayed by a flexor strain and then ended early by a shoulder impingement. In his final spring tuneup, the Illinois-bred lefthander looked as untouchable as ever, and there’s a whole host of Reds prospects who can verify.

Over three innings, Schultz carved with three pitches that graded at least plus, including a two-seamer that sat in the upper 90s and peaked at 98 and a slider sharp enough to make lefties reconsider their line of work. Perhaps most impressively, Schultz showed the ability to sweep the pitch away from southpaws or dot the corner armside against righties. If he can take the ball every five days, he’ll have a case as the best lefthanded pitching prospect in the sport.

Jesus Tillero, RHP, Dodgers

After signing in 2023, Tillero dominated the Dominican Summer League in his pro debut. He finished the year with a 1.47 ERA and 34 strikeouts in 30.2 innings for the DSL-champion Dodgers Bautista squad. Tillero is not particularly physical pitcher, but he has a smooth, simple operation and, at just 17 years old, showed enough stuff to vex more advanced hitters. The righthander pounded the zone with a four-seamer in the low 90s, a sharp cutter a few ticks lower, a slurvy breaking ball and a changeup that darted away from lefties’ barrels.

He struck out three hitters in two frames,…

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