Two pitchers ranked on MLB.com's Top 100 Prospects list are scheduled to make their season debuts in the Minors on Friday, while the Dodgers are expected to pair their current Cy Young hurler with a potential future ace in an intriguing piggyback tandem.
Right-hander Tyler Glasnow, the Pirates' No. 3 prospect and No. 26 overall, is scheduled to start for Class A Advanced Bradenton at St. Lucie. He had been held back in extended spring training due to a back injury but is now ready for the Florida State League. He broke out last season, leading all Pirates Minor Leaguers with 164 strikeouts in 111 1/3 innings at Class A West Virginia.
Right-hander Matt Barnes, the Red Sox's No. 7 prospect and No. 83 overall, will get the ball for Triple-A Pawtucket against Rochester. His start to the season was delayed by three weeks due to tenderness in his right shoulder during Spring Training. Fans can watch his first start of the season on MiLB.TV at 6:15 p.m. ET as Pawtucket takes on New Britain.
In Rancho Cucamonga, Dodgers two-time Cy Young Award winner Clayton Kershaw is expected to start for the Quakes and throw 55-65 pitches, bumping scheduled starter Julio Urias, L.A.'s 17-year-old No. 3 prospect, into a relief role. Kershaw has been on the disabled list since suffering a strained teres major muscle on the left side of his back in his Opening Night win in Australia. Urias is off to a bumpy start (5.40 ERA, 1.70 WHIP) in his first three appearances after impressing in Spring Training.
While Glasnow and Barnes are just beginning their seasons and Kershaw and Urias are trying to get theirs on track, Indians' No. 8 prospect Jose Ramirez is off to one of the best starts in the Minor Leagues. He is hitting .333 with eight stolen bases and has reached base safely in all 19 games he has played for Triple-A Columbus. He will look to extend that streak when the Clippers host Gwinnett at 7:15 p.m. in a game that can be seen on MiLB.TV.
Several other pitchers ranked on MLB.com's Top 100 prospects list scheduled to pitch Friday, including Noah Syndergaard (11), Andrew Heaney (28), Kevin Gausman (30), Kohl Stewart (38), Urias (60), A.J. Cole (66), Matt Wisler (75) and Jose Berrios (87).
Top prospect probables
- Jason Adam (Royals' No. 9), Northwest Arkansas at Tulsa
- Matt Barnes (Red Sox No. 7), Pawtucket vs. Rochester
- Chris Beck (White Sox No. 9), Birmingham at Chattanooga
- Jose Berrios (Twins' No. 5), Fort Myers vs. Palm Beach
- Christian Binford (Royals' No. 12), Wilmington vs. Carolina
- Parker Bridwell (Orioles' No. 17), Frederick vs. Myrtle Beach
- Mauricio Cabrera (Braves' No. 5), Lynchburg at Salem
- A.J. Cole (Nationals' No. 2), Harrisburg vs. Bowie
- Daniel Corcino (Reds' No. 11), Pensacola vs. Mississippi
- Chris Dwyer (Royals' No. 18), Omaha at New Orleans
- Michael Fulmer (Mets' No. 16), St. Lucie vs. Bradenton
- Kevin Gausman (Orioles' No. 2), Norfolk at Lehigh Valley
- Tyler Glasnow (Pirates' No. 3), Bradenton at St. Lucie
- Severino Gonzalez (Phillies' No. 6), Reading at New Hampshire
- Andrew Heaney (Marlins' No. 1), Jacksonville vs. Montgomery
- Jake Johansen (Nationals' No. 12), Hagerstown at West Virginia
- Matt Magill (Dodgers' No. 12), Albuquerque at Fresno
- Trevor May (Twins' No. 13), Rochester at Pawtucket
- Adalberto Mejia (Giants' No. 3), Richmond vs. New Britain
- Sean Nolin (Blue Jays' No. 10), Buffalo at Scranton Wilkes-Barre
- Victor Payano (Rangers' No. 18), Myrtle Beach at Frederick
- Tom Robson (Blue Jays' 14), Lansing vs. Bowling Green
- Joely Rodriguez (Pirates' No. 20), Altoona at Akron
- Enny Romero (Rays' No. 4), Durham at Charlotte
- Mark Sappington (Angels' No. 4), Arkansas vs. Springfield
- Kohl Stewart (Twins' No. 4), Cedar Rapids at Clinton
- Noah Syndergaard (Mets' No. 1), Las Vegas vs. Tacoma
- Nick Travieso (Reds' No. 8), Dayton at Great Lakes
- Julio Urias (Dodgers' No. 3), Rancho Cucamonga vs. Lancaster
- Trevor Williams (Marlins' No. 10), Jupiter vs. Charlotte
- Matt Wisler (Padres' No. 3), San Antonio vs. Midland
Teddy Cahill is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @tedcahill. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.