For the eighth consecutive year, the Dodgers are holding their Winter Development Camp for prospects and rookies. It’s set to begin today.
In the past, the Dodgers have invited a number of players — usually in the teens — but never have they invited this amany. Here’s a breakdown of the position players and the pitchers.
Position Players (17)
Austin Barnes, Cody Bellinger, Buck Britton, O’Koyea Dickson, Kyle Farmer, Kyle Jensen, Adam Law, Julian Leon, Michael Medina, Chris O’Brien, Tyler Ogle, Jeremy Rathjen, Scott Schebler, Ryan Scott, Darnell Sweeney, Alex Verdugo, Shawn Zarraga
The glaring absence from this group is top prospect Corey Seager. With Gabe Kapler as the new head of player development, you know he’d have to explain Seager’s absence — and he did to the media on Monday.
“He and I had a conversation, and we determined collectively that what was best for Corey, who had a bit of a long year, culminating with the Arizona Fall League. We thought what was best for him developmentally was to stay in North Carolina.”
OK, that makes sense. Seager had a long season, and a quite productive one at that. He dominated at High-A, went to the California-Carolina League All-Star Game, went to the Futures Game, went to Double-A and played well and, as Kapler said, ended his season in the Arizona Fall League.
There are some new acquisitions who were invited, some top prospects and some guys who might be useful players down the road. It’s all part of Kapler and the rest of the staff to get to know the minor-leaguers. It gets them prepared for being in a major league clubhouse and gives them a taste of what spring training might be like.
While some of these players are obviously familiar to most, there are some players who were invited who not only surprised me, but intrigued me.
The player who tops that list is Medina, who is the youngest player in camp (finally, Urias can’t lay claim to that title). He has a ton of power potential and made it stateside last year. Now, he just needs to make it out of complex ball.
On the pitching side, I’m excited to see Holmes get the nod. He was just taken out of high school in June, so there’s no chance he’ll be in the majors anytime soon. But, the organization — even the new regime — is high on him (and his fellow draftee Verdugo).
There won’t be a ton to report about at this camp, as it’s closed to the media. But the results of the camp should be seen in spring training and in future years. Some of these guys will play for the Dodgers in 2015, some won’t make it out of rookie ball. But the future is bright for this farm system, especially with the new additions in the front office.