Tomorrow the seventh annual Winter Development Program commences on Sunday, January 5th at Dodger Stadium and runs through Thursday, January 9th. The Dodgers invited 15 Minor League prospects to the camp which not only highlights the talents of these future Dodgers but also gives them the tools they need in order to adjust to the Major League lifestyle.
The following players have been invited to the program:
RHP Zach Lee
OF Joc Pederson
RHP Seth Rosin
RHP Pedro Baez
RHP Yimi Garcia
LHP Jarret Martin
RHP Jose Dominguez
RHP Matt Magill
OF Nick Buss
LHP Chris Reed
RHP Ross Stripling
IF Miguel Rojas
A noticeable omission is that of Alexander Guerrero. Guerrero has only played in 12 games with the Gigantes del Cibao in the Dominican Winter League before succumbing to a left hamstring strain. The Dodgers signed Guerrero to a four-year $28 million contract this last October, so he will be a regular starter. If Guerrero isn’t ready by Opening Day, the Dodgers will have to decide who will man second base. Dee Gordon and Miguel Rojas look to be possible choices to play second should that situation arise.
Three of the invitees have had Major League experience with the Dodgers including Matt Magill, Nick Buss, and Jose Dominguez. Dominguez, the young fireballer, could be a valuable asset to the Dodgers bullpen this season if he gets the opportunity.
I have seen both the catchers Pratt Maynard and Chris O’Brien play for the Rancho Cucamonga Quakes last season, and both backstops look to be promising prospects.
Usually the prospects invited to this event have a good probability of making it to the Dodgers sometime during the upcoming season. Six of the eleven players last year to go through the program made it to the Majors for the Dodgers. Last year Yasiel Puig, Onelki Garcia, Tim Federowicz, Paco Rodriguez, Chris Withrow and Matt Magill all appeared in games for the Dodgers during the 2013 season following their January development camp participation.
The development program includes insights and seminars from with Dodger staff and workouts at Dodger Stadium. The players will also get a tour of Los Angeles and be exposed to charity work by visiting A Place Called Home which is a youth center in L.A. Speakers will include Don Mattingly, Tommy Lasorda, Don Newcombe, Maury Wills, Eric Karros, Shawn Green, Stan Kasten and Ned Colletti.