MIAMI -- While many see Spring Training as the start of a new season, for others, especially in the prospect world, the unofficial kickoff is the Rookie Career Development Program. Since 1992, Major League Baseball and the MLB Players Association have collaborated on the event. The 29th edition of the RCDP returns to Miami for the second consecutive year this week.
All 30 Major League organizations send up-and-coming players on the cusp of reaching the big leagues to help them avoid the kinds of speed bumps or pitfalls that can keep them from reaching their on-field potential. There are sessions on dealing with the media, how to handle situations in the clubhouse, drugs in baseball, inclusion and financial planning, just to name a handful of issues addressed. Players get to interact with each other around these topics and there are breakout sessions with former big leaguers to allow smaller groups of players to drill further down on specific issues.
Every year, the RCDP has participants go from these sessions to big league rosters in the upcoming season. Players who have gone on to become Rookies of the Year, Cy Young Award winners and MVPs have attended the program, including the 2019 National League ROY Pete Alonso.
This year's event will once again be chock full of future stars, with every organization sending some of their top prospects to Miami. There are 22 members on MLB Pipeline's 2019 Top 100 prospects list expected to attend; and the entire list of attendees is as follows:
Astros: Bryan Abreu, RHP (No. 4); Cristian Javier, RHP (No. 9); Enoli Paredes, RHP (No. 13); Blake Taylor, LHP
Athletics: Daulton Jefferies, RHP (No. 14); Greg Deichmann, OF (No. 17); Jonah Heim, C (No. 21); Miguel Romero, RHP
Blue Jays: Bryan Baker, RHP; Jackson McClelland, RHP; Forrest Wall, OF
Brewers: Corey Ray, OF (No. 4); Clayton Andrews, LHP/OF (No. 30); JP Feyereisen, RHP; Angel Perdomo, LHP
Giants: Logan Webb, RHP (No. 5); Melvin Adon (No. 16); Conner Menez (No. 18); Jaylin Davis, OF
Indians: Sam Hentges, LHP (No. 15); Daniel Johnson, OF (No. 16); Jean Carlos Mejia, RHP (No. 20); James Karinchak, RHP (No. 21)
Mets: Thomas Szapucki, LHP (No. 12); Jordan Humphreys, RHP (No. 22)
Nationals: Wil Crowe, RHP (No. 4); Tres Barrera, C (No. 17); James Bourque, RHP (No. 22)
Phillies: Adonis Medina, RHP (No. 4); Cole Irvin, LHP (No. 16); Edgar Garcia, RHP; Ranger Suarez, LHP
Rangers: Joe Palumbo, LHP (No. 6); Demarcus Evans, RHP
Red Sox: Bobby Dalbec, 3B/1B (No. 2); Mike Shawaryn, RHP (No. 22); Denyi Reyes, RHP (No. 27); Kyle Hart, RHP (No. 28)
Reds: Tony Santillan, RHP (No. 4); Tyler Stephenson, C (No. 7); Joel Kuhnel, RHP (No. 23); Aristedes Aquino OF
Rockies: Sam Hilliard, OF (No. 9); Ryan Castellani, RHP (No. 15); Dom Nunez, C; Antonio Santos, RHP
Royals: Carlos Hernandez, RHP (No. 13); Daniel Tillo, LHP (No. 30); Nick Heath, OF; Richard Lovelady, LHP
Tigers: Jake Rogers, C (No. 7); Bryan Garcia, RHP (No. 22); Tyler Alexander, RHP; Gregory Soto, LHP
White Sox: Jonathan Stiever, RHP (No. 6); Zack Collins, C/1B (No. 9); Tyler Johnson, RHP (No. 18); Yermin Mercedes, C