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Many prospects to report early to mini-camp

KISSIMMEE, Fla. -- Several of the club's top prospects are scheduled to report to Osceola County Stadium on Sunday in advance of a mini-camp that will begin Monday. The group will work out each afternoon until the full Minor League workouts begin in early March.

Among the pitchers participating in the camp are right-handers Travis Ballew, Michael Feliz, Lance McCullers Jr., Brady Rodgers, Andrew Thurman, Vincent Velasquez and Kyle Weiland. The position players include catchers Brian Holberton and Roberto Pena, infielders Nolan Fontana, Tony Kemp, Chan Moon and Rio Ruiz and outfielders Teoscar Hernandez and Brett Phillips.

Astros director of player development Quinton McCracken said the camp will feature some of the top arms in the organization, some players should who could fill in on the Major League side and pitchers who could be headed to a full-season club for the first time so they can get stretched out and get a jump start of learning throwing programs and working with new stuff.

"We've had a third of the guys show up already," he said. "It's been a nice surprise to have guys eager to get the season underway."

The mini-campers, unlike last year, will play five to seven games against other teams.

The full Minor League Spring Training begins for pitchers and catchers when they work out for the first time on March 3. Position players will work out beginning March 7.

Brian McTaggart is a reporter for and writes an MLBlog, Tag's Lines. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter.
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