The purpose of Instructs is to allow more one-on-one time between players at coaches. Each player selected has a specific goal or goals to work on with coaches, whether it's a matter of altering their swings; base-running; bunting; fielding; pitch selection; holding runners; making up for time lost due to injuries or even making position changes.
The Cubs' Instructional League camp opened Monday with 45 players scheduled to report to Arizona. The roster includes 21 pitchers, five catchers, 10 infielders and nine outfielders, and features many players selected in the 2009 draft.
Of those players, eight of the first 10 Cubs selections will be on hand for Instructs: OF Brett Jackson (first-round), INF D. J. LeMahieu (second-round), LHP Austin Kirk (third-round), LHP Chris Rusin (fourth-round), INF Wes Darvill (fifth-round), LHP Brooks Raley (sixth-round), INF/OF Blair Springfield (seventh-round) and catcher Richard Jones (eighth-round).
Other players from the 2009 draft class scheduled to report are: OF Burundi Davis (12th round), RHP Steve Grife (26th round), catcher Sergio Burruel (19th round), OF D.J. Fitzgerald (22nd round), 1B Justin Bour (25th round), RHP Corey Martin (27th round), RHP Trey McNutt, catcher Brandon May (36th round), 3B Robert Wagner (38th round), and RHP Nicholas Struck (39th round).
Although Instructs is typically for first or second-year players, there are players that have "been around the block" so to speak. Second baseman Tony Thomas is in his third season with the Cubs after being drafted from Florida State in the third round in 2007. He will report to Instructs later this month with OF Kyler Burke, a 2006 first-round supplemental draft pick with the San Diego Padres.
And two pitchers that missed all of the regular season after rehabbing injuries are also slated to pitch at Instructs: RHPs Dae-Eun Rhee and Billy Muldowney.
From the standpoint of position changes, only one player really stands out. INF Jovan Rosa was listed on the initial Instructional League roster as a catcher after spending the last three seasons in the Cubs' system at third and first base.
Casey Kopitzke will serve as manager of the Cubs' Instructional League team. Tom Beyers, Barbaro Garbey, and Carmelo Martinez will serve as hitting coaches, and Jeff Fassero and Rick Tronerud will serve as pitching coaches.
The head to head portion of Instructs begins Sept. 22 with the Cubs facing the Milwaukee Brewers' Instructs team. Instructs concludes Oct. 17.
CUBS 2009 INSTRUCTIONAL LEAGUE ROSTER
D. J. LeMahieu
It's Instructs Time Again
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