It’s been an eventful offseason, to say the least, for the Los Angeles Dodgers and with just over a month until pitchers and catchers report, it’s an exciting time of the year. One of the first events of the year is the Winter Development Camp at Dodger Stadium that invites young players and prospects to get some insight into the big-league world.
This year, the Dodgers invited 27 players:Chris Anderson, Austin Barnes, Cody Bellinger, Buck Britton, Daniel Coulombe, Jose De Leon, O’Koyea Dickson, Kyle Farmer, Carlos Frias, Grant Holmes, Kyle Jensen, Adam Law, Zach Lee, Julian Leon, Michael Medina, Chris O’Brien, Tyler Ogle, Jeremy Rathjen, Josh Ravin, Chris Reed, Scott Schebler, Ryan Scott, Ross Stripling, Darnell Sweeney, Urias, Alex Verdugo, Shawn Zarraga.
The biggest exception to the list is top prospect Corey Seager, but it was mutually agreed to that he wouldn’t participate due to his season running into November with the Arizona Fall League.
With a new front office, including a new director of player development in Gabe Kapler, the Dodgers are taking a different approach in this year’s camp. While the previous camps have been split between the field and the classroom, this year’s will focus less on actual baseball.
Kapler elaborated on the plan via Ken Gurnick of MLB.com:
We don’t want them ramping up in the middle of winter to impress physically,” he said. “We want them to be open-minded, nimble of thought and share experiences with a ton of interpersonal back-and-forth and talk shop.”
Even the guest list and the types of players invited to camp changed this year:
We wanted the organization’s top athletes, but also wanted men open to help share the philosophy,” he said.
With the Dodgers farm system finally climbing the ranks, it will be events like this that will be the focus on the future.
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