The Los Angeles Dodgers will hold their fifth annual Winter Development Program beginning this weekend, a week-long event designed to help minor league players get ready for major league life. Manager Don Mattingly, third base coach Tim Wallach, and hitting coach Dave Hansen will be joined by several roving minor league instructors and members of the player development department to provide instruction.
Scott Van Slyke, who was named the 2011 Dodgers minor league player of the year, will take part in the program, as will 2011 minor league pitcher of the year Shawn Tolleson. Those two will be joined by 13 others: Alex Castellanos, Griff Erickson, Tim Federowicz, Tyler Henson, Alfredo Silverio, Matt Wallach, and pitchers Steven Ames, Michael Antonini, Stephen Fife, Josh Wall, Allen Webster, Chris Withrow, and Rubby De La Rosa, who is recovering from Tommy John Surgery.
In addition to on-field instruction at Dodger Stadium, the players will take part in seminars with Tommy Lasorda, Don Newcombe, and Dodgers staffers on media relations, diet, and major league travel. The group will also make their way around Los Angeles, with a trip to A Place Called Home, a youth center in Los Angeles, and a Los Angeles Clippers game among the events on their agenda.
Seven players from the 2011 program reached the major leagues last year, and 30 players have reached the majors since the program's inception in 2008.