3 immediate reactions to KC Royals first Spring Breakout game

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The KC Royals started Sunday afternoon with their inaugural Spring Breakout game against the Milwaukee Brewers. The series idea highlighted prospects from each system with this matchup serving as the final chapter. Kansas City won a sloppy game in thrilling fashion, 4-3.

I watched Sunday's exhibition, a painful affair at times for Royals fans. Here are my immediate thoughts on the game.

KC Royals fans need to watch Carson Roccaforte

I will never forget my initial reaction to Kansas City drafting Carson Roccaforte in 2023. I, along with many Royals fans, wondered who Roccaforte was and why the Royals seemingly reached for him at 66th overall. The move made him the highest-drafted player from Louisiana this century as well. His Spring Breakout performance showed why some consider him a strong sleeper prospect (h/t Farm to Fountains' Preston Farr).

Roccaforte made a diving catch in centerfield, inarguably the defensive highlight on Sunday. He dove for a ball in the warning track in the fourth inning too, but missed the catch by inches and allowed a triple. The two plays showed his extensive range in center, even considering the imperfect results. His fielding is par for the course, with several highlight plays in 2023.

Roccaforte had three plate appearances and drew two walks in the process. The 21-year-old Roccaforte doesn't have the raw power that makes him a tantalizing prospect, but his plate approach and bat-to-ball skills make him far from a batting liability. He slashed .257/.377/.356 in 27 Low-A games last season, including 11 stolen bases. Roccaforte has a high floor and could rocket through the Royals system in 2024.

Cayden Wallace is the real deal at the plate

Third baseman Cayden Wallace's Sunday could not have started much worse. He started the Spring Breakout with a fielding error that allowed top prospect Jackson Chourio to reach base. Chourio later came around to score Milwaukee's first run after some hit batters. But, after that low moment, Wallace was the Royals' best player at the plate.

He reached base safely four times against the Brewers, with two hits, a walk, and a hit by pitch. The Arkansas product came around to score two runs including the decisive walk-off winner on a wild pitch. The hits were two singles, but he still did what no other player did: get on base every time.

Wallace is Kansas City's third-best prospect according to MLB.com, citing his "calm demeanor and simple mechanics" at the plate. That plate approach served him well on Sunday. Now, Wallace needs to build on his spring training experience and strong 2023 season for an even better 2024 in Double-A.

MLB needs to evaluate the Spring Breakout production value

The game was sloppy at times on the field, but that is expected from an all-prospect game. One thing that surprised me was how lackluster the announcing and camera work was for the MLB webcast. There were some insightful guests, such as Royals director of player development Mitch Maier, but those guests couldn't save the broadcast.

There were several substitutions throughout the game, but little effort to announce who was in the field or at the plate. When the announcers are talking about Peyton Wilson but fans are seeing Javier Vaz, it throws the viewing experience off. The camera work was already shoddy, but relying on reading jerseys to find out who was playing was not fun.

There were several missed plays from poor or late camera cuts, such as Roccaforte's diving catch. Errors are bound to happen but there were too many to discount. This is a spring training affair not involving MLB players, but that isn't a real excuse. If MLB wants casual fans to tune in, they need it to look and sound like a professional baseball game.

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