Friday, September 18 marks the opening of the Oakland A's 2015 Instructional League camp. This year, the A's have invited 46 players to participate in the camp, which runs until Saturday, October 17.
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, Los Angeles Angels, Kansas City Royals and Arizona Diamondbacks, as well as the SK Wyverns, a team 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.
The youngest pitcher in A's camp this fall will be Venezuelan right-hander Oscar Tovar, who pitched in the Dominican Summer League this season. Tovar is just 17 years old.
The youngest position player in camp will be East Bay native James Terrell, who was the A's 11th-round pick in this year's draft. Terrell's AZL season was cut short by a hamstring injury, so he will be able to make-up for lost at-bats this fall.
Left-hander Matt Stalcup, a 2013 draft pick, was the oldest player in the A's fall Instructs last year. He turned 25 on July 6, and returns again this season, but he won't be the oldest player in camp this year. That distinction goes to RHP Ryan Gorton, who made the transition from catcher to pitcher this season with great success.
The A's top four picks in the 2015 draft -- Richie Martin, Mikey White, Dakota Chalmers and Skye Bolt -- will all be attending the A's fall camp. Mid-season acquisition Jacob Nottingham will be attending his first A's fall Instructional League.
Six-foot-six right-hander Wandisson Charles and the aforementioned Tovar will be making their US debuts at Instructs.
Oakland A's Instructional League Roster, as of Sept. 9th