LOS ANGELES -- The Dodgers invited 13 farmhands to next week's Winter Development Minicamp, which will be held at the club's Camelback Ranch-Glendale training complex in Arizona.
Here's the invitation list, which usually is a fairly good indication of the players management believes are closest to reaching the big leagues:
Pitchers (eight): Steven Ames, Onelki Garcia, Zach Lee, Matt Magill, Rob Rasmussen, Chris Reed, Paco Rodriguez and Chris Withrow. Ames and Withrow attended the camp last year; Rodriguez pitched effectively for the Dodgers in September, three months after being drafted; Lee is considered by MLB.com the top prospect in the system.
Position players (five): catchers Tim Federowicz and Matt Wallach; and outfielders Joc Pederson, Yasiel Puig and Jeremy Moore. Federowicz attended the camp last year and joined the Dodgers in September. Puig is the $42 million signing out of Cuba.
Of the 15 players invited to last year's camp, eight of them reached the Major Leagues during the season (Michael Antonini, Rubby De La Rosa, Stephen Fife, Shawn Tolleson, Josh Wall, Alex Castellanos, Federowicz and Scott Van Slyke).
This year's group includes last year's organizational Player of the Year (Pederson), as well as two recent acquisitions: Rasmussen, a left-handed pitcher acquired from Houston in the John Ely trade, and Moore, a six-year free-agent outfielder who appeared briefly for the Angels in 2011 and was signed to a Minor League contract.
This will be the sixth year of the minicamp, which is designed to take the best and brightest of the farm system, accelerate their Major League arrival and aid acclimation to what they will encounter when they get there.
Among earlier participants are Clayton Kershaw and Kenley Jansen. Vice president of player development De Jon Watson's minicamp also allows club officials to get a line on each player's conditioning prior to Spring Training and to tweak flaws in a pitcher's delivery or a hitter's swing before the start of the real camp, where the player is focused on making the club.
They receive coaching on baseball skills, but also are instructed in aspects of Major League Baseball that should be essential but often are overlooked, from media relations to security issues to interaction with fans and the importance of community outreach.
Previous camps have been held at Dodger Stadium, which is undergoing major construction upgrades this winter and is unavailable.