A's Sending 36 Prospects To Instructs

Although the minor league regular season has come to an end, September is a very important month in the area of player development around baseball. The annual Instructional Leagues begin mid-month, and it is a time for many young prospects to get a lot of personal coaching instruction. The Oakland A's will start their Instructional League camp on September 16, sending 36 prospects to Phoenix.

The Oakland A's Instructional League is an annual event held every fall at the A's minor league complex at Papago Park in Phoenix, Arizona. Director of Player Development Keith Lieppman oversees the camp, which this season will be attended by 36 of the A's promising young minor league prospects. Generally, "Instructs" is intended for first- or second-year minor league players who are still getting acclimated to professional baseball. A good portion of the camp is spent in the classroom, where A's prospects learn about different aspects of the game.

A's prospects also get to spend a lot of time receiving one-on-one coaching attention from the organization's minor league instructional staff. Minor league hitting coordinator Greg Sparks, roving defensive coordinator Juan Navarette and pitching coordinator Gil Patterson are on-hand to work with players on mechanical adjustments and adding new elements to their games. For example, last season during Instructs, Patterson helped A's left-handed starting prospect Anthony Capra alter his change-up, something Capra carried over into a successful 2009 minor league season. A's minor league coaches Tim Garland, Marcus Jensen, Casey Myers, Haas Pratt and Juan Dilone will also be on-hand to serve as instructors.

Although there is a heavy emphasis on instruction during this camp, there is also a game schedule element. Oakland prospects will be led by Steve Scarsone, who was the Kane County Cougars' manager in 2009 and will act in the same capacity at Instructs. Garvin Alston, the A's minor league rehab coordinator, will act as pitching coach.

Some of the A's brightest – and newest – prospects will be on-hand at Instructs, including 2009 first-round pick Grant Green and 2009 high school picks Max Stassi, Royce Consigli, Ian Krol and Josh Leyland. Michael Ynoa, one of the A's top prospects, missed the Arizona Rookie League season with an elbow injury, but the A's are hopeful that he will see some game action towards the middle of Instructs. Another top pitching prospect, Fautino De Los Santos, is expected to participate in the full camp after making only a handful of starts for the A's Rookie League team in 2009. De Los Santos is finishing his recovery from Tommy John surgery, which he had in 2008.

There are a few notable absences from camp, mostly due to injuries, including A's 2009 third-round pick Justin Marks (groin injury), shortstop Dusty Coleman (wrist fracture), catcher Yusuf Carter (broken finger) and third-baseman Jason Christian (shoulder separation). Some injured players may join camp midway through if their health allows it. Other rehabbing veteran A's prospects, such as first-baseman/outfielder Sean Doolittle, may get some at-bats in Instructs games, as well.

Instructs By The Numbers

Youngest Player In Camp: Michael Ynoa, born September 24, 1991

Oldest Player In Camp: Nick Walters, born September 30, 1985

Player To Have Reached Highest Level: Mickey Storey and Justin Souza. Both have pitched briefly at Triple-A

Number Of 2009 Draft Picks: 19

Number Of Pitchers: 22

Number Of Catchers: 5

Number Of Infielders: 8

Number Of Outfielders: 6

Below is the roster of 36 players scheduled to participate in the camp:

Anthony Capra
Fautino De Los Santos
Robert Gilliam
Connor Hoehn
Ben Hornbeck
Brett Hunter
Jonathan Joseph
Ian Krol
Chris Mederos
Argenis Paez
Max Peterson
Ryan Quigley
Julio Ramos
Murphy Smith
Paul Smyth
Justin Souza
Daniel Straily
Mickey Storey
Daniel Tenholder
Daniel Thomas
Nick Walters
Michael Ynoa

Chris Affinito
Josh Leyland
Ryan Ortiz
Petey Paramore
Max Stassi

Anthony Aliotti
Conner Crumbliss
Michael Gilmartin
Grant Green
Tyler Ladendorf
Nino Leyja
Stephen Parker
Jeremy Wells

Jeremy Barfield
Chris Berroa
Royce Consigli
Rashun Dixon
Myrio Richard
Robin Rosario

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