More cerebral LA development camp features top prospects
LOS ANGELES -- The Dodgers opened their annual Winter Development Camp on Monday with a list of 27 invitees that included top pitching prospect Julio Urias but not top infield prospect Corey Seager.
The complete list: Chris Anderson, Austin Barnes, Cody Bellinger, Buck Britton, Daniel Coulombe, Jose De Leon, O'Koyea Dickson, Kyle Farmer, Carlos Frias, Grant Holmes, Kyle Jensen, Adam Law, Zach Lee, Julian Leon, Michael Medina, Chris O'Brien, Tyler Ogle, Jeremy Rathjen, Josh Ravin, Chris Reed, Scott Schebler, Ryan Scott, Ross Stripling, Darnell Sweeney, Urias, Alex Verdugo, Shawn Zarraga.
Former Major Leaguer Gabe Kapler, the new Dodgers director of player development, said it was mutually agreed that Seager remain home in North Carolina and continue his offseason conditioning, citing Seager's demanding 2014 season that was followed by participation in the Arizona Fall League.
Kapler, an analyst with FOX Sports last year, would not predict when the 18-year-old Urias might arrive in the Major Leagues, but he sounded like it won't be long.
"Tremendously talented, electric arm and makeup off the charts," Kapler said. "He's a top-notch human being."
This is Kapler's debut camp and it is intentionally being run differently than previous ones. He said instead of splitting time on the field and in the classroom, this year's camp will be overwhelmingly cerebral.
"We don't want them ramping up in the middle of winter to impress physically," he said. "We want them to be open-minded, nimble of thought and share experiences with a ton of interpersonal back-and-forth and talk shop."
Kapler said player participants for the development camp were selected with different criteria than the past.
"We wanted the organization's top athletes, but also wanted men open to help share the philosophy," he said.
Out of the top 10 Dodgers prospects according to MLB.com, Seager and Joc Pederson (who attended the MLB Development Camp in New York) are the only ones not attending.
Frias and Coulombe appeared in the big leagues with the Dodgers last year. Stripling is recovering from Tommy John surgery performed last spring.