The Dodgers’ fifth annual Winter Development Program, which helps prepare minor league players for the Major Leagues both on and off the field, kicks off this weekend and will include workouts, community visits, informational seminars and visits to different areas of Los Angeles. Fifteen of the Dodgers’ top minor league prospects will be in town for the week-long event and workouts will focus on fundamentals, strength training and conditioning.
Dodger Manager Don Mattingly will be on hand to work with the prospects along with Third Base Coach Tim Wallach, Hitting Coach Dave Hansen, minor league roving instructors and Specials Assistants, Baseball Operations & Player Development.
Prospects attending include the Dodgers’ Minor League Pitcher of the Year Shawn Tolleson and Minor League Player of the Year Scott Van Slyke. Other position players include Alex Castellanos, Griff Erickson, Tim Federowicz, Tyler Henson, Alfredo Silverio and Matt Wallach. Pitchers Steven Ames, Michael Antonini, Stephen Fife, Josh Wall, Allen Webster and Chris Withrow will be in attendance along with the Dodgers’ 2010 Minor League Pitcher of the Year Rubby De La Rosa.
Throughout the week, these Dodger prospects will familiarize themselves with the greater Los Angeles area through community service with a visit to A Place Called Home, a youth center in South Los Angeles, and social events, including attending an L.A. Clippers game. They will also meet with Dodger legends including Tommy Lasorda and Don Newcombe and learn from Dodger staffers about topics including media relations, diet and Major League travel. Prominent Los Angeles sports figures who have spoken to the program in the past include John Wooden, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Phil Jackson.
Since the Winter Development Program’s inception in 2008, 30 participating players have reached the Major Leagues, including 2011 participants Rubby De La Rosa, Jerry Sands, Dee Gordon, Nathan Eovaldi and Javy Guerra. Clayton Kershaw, Kenley Jansen, Ramon Troncoso, A.J. Ellis, and Scott Elbert are among other past participants.