The Dodgers' seventh annual Winter Development Program, which helps prepare minor league players for the Major Leagues both on and off the field, will begin tomorrow and run through Thursday, January 9 at Dodger Stadium.
Fifteen of the club's top minor league prospects will be in Los Angeles for the event, which includes seminars with Dodger staffers and workouts that focus on fundamentals, strength training and conditioning. Throughout the week, Dodger prospects will familiarize themselves with the greater Los Angeles area through social events and a community service visit to A Place Called Home, a youth center in South Los Angeles. The program is highlighted by sessions with Don Mattingly, Tommy Lasorda, Don Newcombe, Maury Wills, Eric Karros, Shawn Green, Stan Kasten and Ned Colletti and the annual Legends Dinner with Dodger alumni.
Many of the Dodgers' top prospects will be in attendance, including the organization's 2013 Minor League Pitcher and Player of the Year, right-hander Zach Lee and outfielder Scott Schebler, along with Baseball America's top-rated Dodger prospect, outfielder Joc Pederson. In addition, some of the club's newest roster additions will be on display, including right-handed pitcher Seth Rosin, who was acquired through the Rule 5 Draft, and recent 40-man roster selections right-handers Pedro Baez and Yimi Garcia and left-hander Jarret Martin. Of the prospects attending this year, seven are already on the 40-man roster and three have Major League experience, including pitchers Jose Dominguez and Matt Magill and outfielder Nick Buss. The club's top pick in the 2011 draft, left-hander Chris Reed, and right-hander Ross Stripling will round out the hurlers and will be joined by catchers Pratt Maynard and Chris O'Brien and infielder Miguel Rojas.
Six of the 11 participants in last year's Winter Development Program played in the Major Leagues in 2013 and, since its inception in 2008, 40 participating players have reached the big leagues.
Pedro Baez (RHP) split time between Single-A Rancho Cucamonga and Double-A Chattanooga during the 2013campaign, his first season as a pitcher. The 25-year-old combined to post a 3-3 record with two saves and a 3.88 ERA in 48 games before pitching in the Arizona Fall League following the season. Baez began his career as a third baseman, compiling a .248 batting average in 507 career games in six seasons, after he was originally signed by the Dodgers as a non-drafted free agent on Jan. 22, 2007 out of the Dominican Republic.
Jose Dominguez (RHP) made his Major League debut last season, posting a 2.16 ERA in nine appearances with the Dodgers before injuring his left quad, which landed him on the disabled list. Prior to his call-up, the 23-year-old went 2-0 with five saves and a 1.78 ERA in 22 combined minor league appearances with Double-A Chattanooga and Triple-A Albuquerque, limiting opposing hitters to a .108 batting average with 40 strikeouts in 25.1 innings. Dominguez was originally signed as a non-drafted free agent out of the Dominican Republic on July 2, 2007.
Yimi Garcia (RHP) spent the entire 2013 campaign with Double-A Chattanooga, going 4-6 with 19 saves and a 2.54 ERA in 49 games and earning a selection as a Southern League Midseason All-Star. The 23-year-old, who also played for the Desert Dogs in the Arizona Fall League following the season, limited opponents to a .164 batting average this year, while striking out 85 and walking only 14 in 60.1 innings. Garcia was originally signed by the Dodgers as a non-drafted free agent on Jan. 29, 2009 out of the Dominican Republic.
Zach Lee (RHP) went 10-10 with a 3.22 ERA in 28 appearances (25 starts) for Double-A Chattanooga last season, earning a selection as a Southern League All-Star and as the Dodgers' 2013 Branch Rickey Minor League Pitcher of the Year. Lee limited opponents to a .247 batting average and finished the season with a 1.17 WHIP, tying for the third-lowest mark in the Southern League. He walked only 35 in 142.2 innings and posted a 3.74 strikeout-to-walk ratio, the third best among league starters with at least 120.0 innings pitched. The 22-year-old was originally selected with the 28th overall pick in the 2010 First-Year Player Draft out of McKinney (Texas) High School.
Matt Magill (RHP) made six starts for the Dodgers last season after making his Major League debut on April 27 against the Brewers, while also posting a 6-2 record with a 3.47 ERA in 18 games (16 starts) for Triple-A Albuquerque. The 22-year-old Simi Valley native has gone 42-24 with a 3.74 ERA in 121 games (102 starts) in six minor league campaigns after he was selected by the Dodgers in the 31st round of the 2008 First-Year Player Draft.
Jarret Martin (LHP) combined to go 6-7 with two saves and a 4.30 ERA in 40 games (14 starts) with Single-A Rancho Cucamonga and Double-A Chattanooga during the regular season before a stint in the Arizona Fall League. Martin, who was acquired in a trade with Baltimore in December 2011, posted a 2.77 combined ERA (8 ER/26.0 IP) in his 26 relief appearances this season, including a 1.69 mark (2 ER/10.2 IP) in 11 games during a late-season promotion to Chattanooga. The 24-year-old was originally selected by Baltimore in the 18th round of the 2009 First-Year Player Draft.
Chris Reed (LHP) went 4-11 with a 3.86 ERA in 29 games (25 starts) for Double-A Chattanooga last season and enters the 2014 season rated as the Dodgers' No. 8 prospect by Baseball America. Reed, 23, ranked third on the Lookouts with 106 strikeouts, while limiting left-handed hitters to a .171 batting average (22-for-129). Reed, a graduate of Cleveland High School in Reseda, was selected in the first round (16th overall) of the 2011 First-Year Player Draft out of Stanford University.
Seth Rosin (RHP) pitched for Double-A Reading in the Phillies' organization during the 2013 season, posting a 9-6 record with a 4.33 ERA (61 ER/ 126.2 IP) in 26 games (23 starts), before being taken by the Mets in the Rule 5 Draft and then traded to Los Angeles. In four professional seasons, Rosin has gone 14-12 with 12 saves and a 4.00 ERA in 108 games (42 starts), after he was originally selected by the Giants in the fourth round of the 2010 First-Year Player Draft out of the University of Minnesota.
Ross Stripling (RHP) combined to go 8-4 with a 2.86 ERA in 27 games (22 starts) with Single-A Rancho Cucamonga and Double-A Chattanooga last year and enters 2014 rated by Baseball America as the Dodgers' No. 10 prospect. The 2013 Southern League All-Star combined to limit opponents to a .238 batting average last season, while striking out 117 and walking only 30 in 127.2 innings. Stripling, 24, has a 9-4 career record with a 2.47 ERA in 41 games (34 starts) after being selected in the fifth round of the 2012 First-Year Player Draft out of Texas A&M.
Pratt Maynard batted .246 (58-for-236) with six home runs and 27 RBI in 69 games for Single-A Rancho Cucamonga last year in his third professional season. The left-handed hitting 24-year-old was originally selected in the third round of the 2011 First-Year Player Draft out of North Carolina State University.
Chris O'Brien spent the majority of the 2013 season with Single-A Rancho Cucamonga, while also appearing in nine games with the Rookie-level AZL Dodgers. O'Brien, 24, was originally selected by the Dodgers in the 18th round of the 2011 First-Year Player Draft out of Wichita State University.
Miguel Rojas was the everyday shortstop at Double-A Chattanooga last season in his first year in the Dodger organization and eighth professional campaign. Following the season, Rojas, 24, played Winter Ball for La Guaira in the Venezuelan Winter League. Prior to joining the Dodgers in 2013, Rojas spent seven seasons in the Reds' organization and was originally signed by Cincinnati as a non-drafted free agent on November 24, 2005 out of Venezuela.
Nick Buss made his Major League debut on Sept. 14 and appeared in eight games with the Dodgers last year during his September call-up. Prior to his selection to the big league roster, Buss batted .303 with 17 homers and 100 RBI in 131 games with Triple-A Albuquerque and was named to the midseason Pacific Coast League All-Star Team, the postseason All-PCL Team and the Topps Triple-A All-Star Team. Buss, 27, was originally selected by Los Angeles in the eighth round of the 2008 First-Year Player Draft out of the University of Southern California.
Joc Pederson represented the Dodgers in Major League Baseball's All-Star Futures Game last year, batting .278 with 24 doubles, 22 home runs, 58 RBI and a Southern League-best .497 slugging percentage in 123 games for Double-A Chattanooga. The 21-year-old has a .301 career batting average in four professional seasons and enters 2014 rated by Baseball America as the Dodgers' No.1 prospect. Pederson, who played Winter Ball in Venezuela this offseason, was the Dodgers' 2012 Branch Rickey Minor League Player of the Year and was originally selected by the club in the 11th round of the 2010 First-Year Player Draft.
Scott Schebler was selected as the Dodgers' 2013 Branch Rickey Minor League Player of the Year and led Single-A Rancho Cucamonga with a .296 batting average, while ranking among the California League leaders with 27 homers (2nd), 95 runs scored (4th), 13 triples (T-3rd), 91 RBI (7th) and a .581 slugging percentage (2nd) in 125 games. The 23-year-old earned a selection to the California League's Postseason All-Star Team and was one of only two hitters in the circuit to finish the campaign with at least 20 home runs and 15 stolen bases (16). The Iowa native, who bats left handed, just completed his fourth professional season after being selected in the 26th round of the 2010 First-Year Player Draft out of Des Moines Area Community College.