Tuesday, September 16 marks the opening of the Oakland A's 2014 Instructional League camp. This year, the A's have invited 44 players to participate in the camp, which runs until October 15.
Time spent in the Instructional League can often be the most valuable of a young player's career. "Instructs" is designed to provide A's prospects with lots of one-on-one coaching. The A's Instructs team will take on the Instructs clubs from the San Francisco Giants, Milwaukee Brewers, Colorado Rockies, Los Angeles Angels and Arizona Diamondbacks, as well as the SK Wyverns and the NC Dinos, two teams from the Korean professional baseball league.
The daily schedule for the Instructional League is generally filled with early morning meetings, plenty of conditioning and drills and then games. It can be grueling, but it also plays an important role in helping young players build foundations for the rest of their playing careers.
For a second straight year, shortstop Jesus Lopez, 17, will be the youngest position player in camp. Lopez made his US debut last season during Instructs and spent the 2014 regular season playing for the Arizona Rookie League A's.
The youngest pitcher in camp will be Branden Kelliher, who was drafted by the A's out of high school this summer. Kelliher will turn 19 in December.
The oldest player in camp will be left-hander Matt Stalcup, a 2013 draft pick. He turned 24 on July 6.
The A's top pick Matt Chapman will be at fall Instructs, as will several of his 2014 draft class members. 2014 draft pick Max Kuhn will be trying a new position this fall. An infielder in college at Kentucky, Kuhn played second base, third base, first base and the corner outfield this season for Vermont. This fall, he will try his hand at catching.
Roster, as of Sept. 2nd
Sept. 16 Players/Coaches Report; First Workout
Sept. 20 vs. DBacks (10am)
Sept. 21 Off
Sept. 22 @ DBacks (12:30pm)
Sept. 23 vs. Brewers (12:30pm)
Sept. 24 vs. Dodgers (12:30pm)
Sept. 25 Camp day
Sept. 26 @ Angels (12:30pm)
Sept. 27 @ Giants (10:00am)
Sept. 28 Off
Sept. 29 vs. Rockies (12:30pm)
Sept. 30 vs. DBacks (12:30pm)
Oct. 1 vs. Giants (12:30pm)
Oct. 2 @ SKWY (Talking Stick) (12:30pm)
Oct. 3 @ DBacks (12:30pm)
Oct. 4 @ Giants (10:00am)
Oct. 5 Off
Oct. 6 vs. DBacks (12:30pm)
Oct. 7 @ Giants (12:30pm)
Oct. 8 @ SKWY (Talking Stick) (12:30pm)
Oct. 9 vs. Giants (12:30pm)
Oct. 10 @ DBacks (12:30pm (Chase)
Oct. 11 vs. Angels (10:00am)
Oct. 12 Off
Oct. 13 @ Giants (12:30pm)
Oct. 14 @ NC-Dinos (Peoria) (12:30pm
Oct. 15 vs. Giants (9:00am)