A's Sending 40 Prospects To Instructs

In mid-September, 40 Oakland A's prospects will head to Phoenix, Arizona, to participate in the organization's annual Instructional League. We have the list of the 40 players scheduled to play, plus information on some of the players on the list, and a few of those not participating, inside…

The Oakland A's Instructional League is an annual camp held at the A's minor league complex at Papago Park in Phoenix from mid-September to mid-October. "Instructs" generally present an opportunity for the A's minor league instructors to give their younger or less-polished prospects one-on-one coaching and instruction that they aren't able to receive during the regular season.

"There is so much information," Oakland A's Director of Player Development Keith Lieppman told OaklandClubhouse during last year's Instructional League. "It's just an incredible program. It goes through every aspect of Baseball:101, from the physical aspects such as how to do your work professionally and become a better professional to all of the mental aspects that cover the things that you have to do to become a big league player."

"There is a constant process. Every day there is a 45-minute seminar on at least one aspect of the game.

In addition to the close instruction, the A's Instructional League prospects will take on prospects from other Arizona League teams in a series of games from September 22nd through October 11th.

A number of the A's high-profile 2008 draft picks will be on-hand at this year's instructs, including top pick Jemile Weeks. Weeks' 2008 season ended prematurely when he injured a hip flexor trying to beat out an infield hit on July 29th. According to Lieppman, Weeks won't likely be ready to play in Instructional League games, but he will be on-hand to participate in the meetings and watch the games.

The A's 2008 fifth-round pick Jason Christian will use the Instructional League period to gain experience at a number of different positions. Christian was drafted out of Michigan as a shortstop, but he played second base primarily towards the end of the season. He will play all over the infield and might even see some time in the outfield during instructs, according to Lieppman.

Olympian Brett Anderson will be in Phoenix, but his fellow Team USA teammate, Trevor Cahill, won't be on-hand at the start of the Instructional League schedule. Cahill returned from Beijing with a sore oblique muscle. Given the injury and that he threw 124 innings during the minor league season and threw another 20 innings for Team USA both in the Olympics and during the exhibition schedule leading up to the Beijing games, Cahill isn't expected to throw any more in-game innings this fall. He may come to Phoenix on October 1st for mechanical work, Lieppman said.

Another talented right-handed pitching prospect, Travis Banwart, will also miss the Instructional League. Banwart struggled with a sore shoulder for a portion of this season and, according to Lieppman, he has been shut-down with a tired arm that will prevent him from participating in any fall or winter baseball.

The 40 prospects who will be attending the A's Instructional League include 21 players selected by Oakland in the 2008 draft. In addition, right-hander Arnold Leon, who split his season between playing for the A's organization and playing in the Mexican Summer League, will be back with Oakland. The youngest player in the A's camp will be infielder Nino Leyja, who won't turn 18 until October 2nd. Oakland will have 20 pitchers, four catchers, nine infielders and seven outfielders in camp.

Below is a complete list of the A's Instructional League roster, as of September 9, 2008.

PITCHERS

 

HT

WT

BIRTHDATE

2008 Team

Brett Anderson

LHP

6'4

215

2/1/88

Midland/Stockton

Anthony Capra

LHP

6'1

200

4/3/87

Kane County

Ryan Doolittle

RHP

6'3

185

3/25/88

Arizona Rookie

Pedro Figueroa

LHP

6'1

212

11/23/85

Vancouver

Justin Friend

RHP

6'1

200

6/21/86

Kane County

Hector Garcia

RHP

6'3

200

10/22/85

Vancouver

Shawn Haviland

RHP

6'2

200

11/10/85

Vancouver

Carlos Hernandez

LHP

5'10

175

3/4/87

Van/Kane Cty

Scott Hodsdon

RHP

6'1

185

5/31/85

Kane County

Ben Hornbeck

LHP

6'5

192

7/22/87

Vancouver

Brett Hunter

RHP

6'4

215

6/27/87

Kane County

Mathieu Leblanc Poirier

RHP

6'1

175

3/10/87

Arizona Rookie

Arnold Leon

RHP

5'11

190

9/6/88

Stockton

Ronny Morla

RHP

6'3

195

5/19/88

Vancouver

Justin Murray

RHP

6'5

220

5/11/87

AZ Rookie/ Mid

Tyson Ross

RHP

6'5

215

4/22/87

Kane County

James Simmons

RHP

6'3

205

9/29/86

Midland

Kenneth Smalley

RHP

6'2

195

7/25/87

Vancouver

Mickey Storey

RHP

6'2

185

3/16/86

Arizona Rookie

Daniel Thomas

RHP

6'2

195

2/10/86

Vancouver

CATCHERS

B/T

HT

WT

BIRTHDATE

2008 Team

Dante Love

R/R

5'11

195

4/8/87

Vancouver

Dusty Napoleon

L/R

6'2

210

5/21/86

Vancouver

Juan Nunez

R/R

6'1

215

8/27/87

Kane Cty/Van

Petey Paramore

S/R

6'2

205

10/30/86

Kane County

INFIELDERS

B/T

HT

WT

BIRTHDATE

2008 Team

Jason Christian

L/R

6'3

180

6/16/87

Vancouver

Dusty Coleman

R/R

6'2

185

4/20/87

Vancouver

Leonardo Gil

R/R

6'1

195

8/18/87

AZ Rookie/ Van

Franklin Hernandez

R/R

6'2

225

4/19/87

Arizona Rookie

Josh Horton

L/R

6'1

195

2/19/86

Stockton

Nino Leyja

R/R

5'10

170

10/2/90

Arizona Rookie

Michael Richard

R/R

5'11

180

8/20/84

Kane County

Alexander Valdez

R/R

6'0

195

9/2/84

Stockton

Jemile Weeks

S/R

5'10

175

1/26/87

Kane County

OUTFIELDERS

B/T

HT

WT

BIRTHDATE

2008 Team

Jeremy Barfield

R/R

6'5

215

7/12/88

Vancouver

Chris Berroa

R/R

6'1

175

2/3/89

Arizona Rookie

Corey Brown

L/L

6'2

210

11/26/85

Stockton

Rashun Dixon

R/R

6'2

210

8/27/90

Arizona Rookie

Mitchell LeVier

L/L

5'11

185

1/12/88

Vancouver

Matt Spencer

L/L

6'4

225

1/27/86

Stockton

David Thomas

S/R

6'2

180

7/29/86

Vancouver

 


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