With games starting on Monday, September 22nd, the Detroit Tigers will take on squads representing the Atlanta Braves, Houston Astros, Washington Nationals, Pittsburgh Pirates, Philadelphia Phillies, and Team Canada. All week day games will be played at 1:00 pm, with Saturday games beginning at 10:00 am. The 20-game fall instructional league schedule concludes with a game on October 16th against Houston.
The Tigers roster, led by Manager Joe DePastino, will be loaded with returning talents from previous seasons, as well as a new crop of 2009 draftees and even some players coming stateside for their first exposure to baseball at TigerTown.
Headlining the roster will be the presence of 18 2009 draft picks and undrafted free agent signings. The Tigers' top pick, right-hander Jacob Turner will make his Tiger debut during the instructional league, as will fellow bonus babies left-hander Andrew Oliver and shortstop Daniel Fields.
Joining them from the 2009 draft will be right-handed pitcher Giovanni Soto, and left-handers Adam Wilk and Austin Wood. Three of the camps catchers will be new draftees, headlined by breakout ninth round pick John Murrian. Joining Murrian behind the dish will be Edgar Corcino as he begins his conversion to the position, and Michigan State alumnus Eric Roof. Rounding out the new draftees in Lakeland this fall will be first baseman Rawley Bishop and James Robbins, third baseman Wade Gaynor, shortstop Edwin Gomez, second baseman Chris Sedon, and outfielders Jamie Johnson and Michael Rockett.
The Tigers will also have several Latin American newcomers taking the field this fall, led by massive Dominican power prospect Steven Moya. Joining him from the Dominican Republic will be right-handed reliever Vladimir Ortiz, and coming over from Venezuela will be left-hander Wilfredo Ramirez; signed from the Indians prior to the VSL season.
The rest of the fall league roster will be made up of players with at least a year of experience in the organization. Behind the dish, Julio Rodriguez will remain in Lakeland a little longer to help share the catching duties.
The infield should be full of superb athletes and tons of potential, with the super talented Audy Ciriaco and Francisco Martinez getting additional on-field work. Joining them will be third baseman Brett Anderson, second baseman Brandon Douglas, shortstops Gustavo Nunez and Danny Worth, as well as corner infielder Elvin Soto.
Also in the outfield with Moya, Johnson, Rockett, and Cruz, will be Panamanian speedster Luis Castillo, and the young five-tool talent Avisail Garcia. Garcia has made a name for himself this summer, rocketing from extended spring training to West Michigan before his 18th birthday.
The additional pitchers in camp will include a long list of hard throwing, high ceiling talents. Headlined by power left-hander Casey Crosby, the staff will also be led by the strong-armed group of Jared Gayhart, Brandon Hamilton, Ramon Lebron, Melvin Mercedes, Lester Oliverso, Jose Ortega, Tyler Stohr, and Brayan Villareal.
Left-handers Charlie Furbush, Matt Hoffman, and Jade Todd will all try their hand at some extra innings on the hill as they prepare for big seasons in 2010. Rounding out the pitching staff will be solid right-handers Clemente Mendoza and Luke Putkonen.
To see the full roster and schedule for the Tigers' fall instructional league, follow the link below:
Fall Instructional League Schedule and Roster
And to discuss the happenings in Lakeland this fall, head to the TigsTown.com message boards.