You’re a baseball fan. You have an MLB.TV account to watch out-of-market Major League games across the country. But you want to see some of the game’s up-and-coming stars, too.
If not, you can get a taste of what you’re missing with select Minor League Baseball games featuring some of MLB’s top prospects coming to the MLB.TV streaming platform. We’re starting off on Saturday, when last year’s No. 2 overall Draft pick, Jack Leiter, leads the Rangers’ Double-A Frisco affiliate against Northwest Arkansas and the Royals’ top pitching prospect, Asa Lacy, at 7:35 p.m. ET.
To get you set for the introduction of top prospects to one of the premier streamers in sports, let’s dive into the details.
How it works: Minor League games are typically streamed over at MiLB.TV. (More on that in a moment.) To bring the future of the game to even more folks, some of the biggest names and games from all levels of the Minor Leagues are being brought over to the MLB.TV feed. Let’s underline this point: these matchups come with your MLB.TV subscription. No additional payment is necessary for these featured contests. Just fire up MLB.TV before first pitch and tune in to see the future of the game on display.
What is MiLB.TV?: Think MLB.TV but even bigger. MiLB.TV streams all Triple-A and Double-A games, as well as hundreds more from the High-A and Single-A levels. Every Major League affiliate is represented multiple times over, meaning there are ample chances every day to see your favorite club’s best prospects before they reach the bright lights of The Show. And for just $25, you can add MiLB.TV to your existing MLB.TV subscription.
First up: We’ve got a heck of a Texas League pitching battle on tap for this first game.
Leiter, baseball’s No. 17 overall prospect, is set to make his third professional start for Frisco across from Lacy, the No. 71 overall prospect, for Northwest Arkansas. The son of two-time All-Star left-handed pitcher Al, Leiter is still getting his Minor League feet wet after being taken second overall by the Rangers in last year’s Draft out of Vanderbilt. In his first pro season, the 21-year-old right-hander has jumped straight to Double-A and allowed two runs on two hits and five walks over seven frames in his first two starts with the RoughRiders. He has fanned 11 of the 28 batters he has faced to this point for a 39.3% K rate that leads Texas Leaguers (min. 7 IP).
Lacy — the fourth overall pick in the 2020 Draft out of Texas A&M — is no pushover in this faceoff either. The 22-year-old southpaw has three potential plus pitches in his mid-90s fastball, upper-80s slider and promising changeup. His curveball used to be his best breaker, and while it’s been passed by the slider, it can still be an above-average pitch in its own right. He’s shown flashes of his brilliance with 13 strikeouts (and five walks) over 9 2/3 innings through his first two starts with the Naturals.
There will be Top 100 hitting prospects as well. The RoughRiders boast MLB’s No. 82 overall prospect, Ezequiel Duran, and No. 88 Justin Foscue — both of whom bring some heft to the Frisco lineup. And the Naturals lineup is likely to be highlighted by ranked Royals prospects Maikel Garcia (KC No. 21) and Michael Massey (No. 23).
Looking at the Major League schedule, Saturday’s Frisco-Northwest Arkansas matchup could offer Rangers fans a continuation of a baseball-filled day following Texas’ 4:10 p.m. ET start against Oakland or Royals fans an appetizer ahead of their 9:10 p.m. ET contest in Seattle.
On deck: This is just the start. More MiLB.TV games are coming to MLB.TV streams in the days ahead. Here’s what else to expect next week:
Wednesday, April 27, 12:15 p.m. ET — Buffalo Bisons (TOR) @ Worcester Red Sox (BOS): Catcher Gabriel Moreno (No. 7 overall) tries to make his case to bring his impressive offense and athletic defense to Toronto in this International League matchup. He’ll face a fellow Top 20 overall prospect in Triston Casas, who has produced an early .901 OPS for the WooSox.
Thursday, April 28, 6:35 p.m. ET — Portland Sea Dogs (BOS) @ Somerset Patriots (NYY): Anthony Volpe, MLB Pipeline’s No. 8 overall prospect, takes the Yankees shortstop spotlight next Thursday. It also just so happens to be his 21st birthday.