Instructional League Roster – Final Thoughts

Some final thoughts on the 2010 Florida Instructional League

Last week, we reported on the invitees and broke them down by pitchers and position players. One of our regular commenters (markfd) broke it down into three categories, which I agree with:

1. Very young

2. Changing roles or position

3. Guys that need to work on a specific skill (pitch)

Here are a few other observations I have in looking over the players invited.

… Almost everyone invited in 2009 moved up a level in 2010 if they didn’t spend time at multiple levels.

… The exception appears to be Potomac, which makes sense because it’s the “staging area” for the system

… Repeats? Eleven batters, ten pitchers. (Almost) half of those (four pitchers, six batters) are guys 20 or younger

… Most of the this-year-but-not-last-year are 2010 draftees or IFAs. The outliers? Holder, Wort and Andruth Ramirez

Undoubtedly, there will be some speculation as to who didn’t get invited and why, though I suspect it will be buried amidst the breathless stories about Bryce Harper. Washington has a much larger-than-average camp to begin with and not every organization sends their top guys to “instrux.” Box scores aren’t released to the public, and attendance is very sparse: Mostly family, friends, and SO’s besides the scouts, who aren’t thrilled to be there.

“[S]couts don’t like having to cover instrux, because they don’t believe they can write a good report based on what they see there. It’s a place where coaches are tinkering with and tweaking their players, so you don’t always see the real stuff,” says former scout Anip Sunha on, citing an example of a player from 10 years ago that threw only fastballs and changeups, the two pitches he was working on to complement his plus-plus curveball. (Bobby Bradley’s the player, the article from which a lot of this post is based on can be found here.)

What the “intruxs” is, from what I’ve researched, is simply a chance to get the players together to work with more of the organization’s coaches in close proximity for an extra month and work on what the evaluators have spotted over the course of the year. Pitchers are said to benefit the most because they get the chance to work multiple coaches, many of whom are specialists in a particular pitch. Paul Menhart, for example, seems to be the go-to guy for refining the changeup while Randy Tomlin is the guy that John Lannan credits with both making the jump from A+ to the majors in ’07 and fixing him this summer. Like in spring training, it’s workouts and drills in the morning, games in the afternoon.

If I spot something in my travels, I’ll pass it along, but I suspect there won’t be much more to report aside from injuries and Bryce Harper.

Author: Luke Erickson

Since 2009, Luke Erickson has been chief writer, editor, and bottle-washer of Potomac is his home base as a season-ticket holder, but he has visited every affiliate north of Florida at least once, with multiple trips to Hagerstown and Harrisburg.

15 thoughts on “Instructional League Roster – Final Thoughts”

  1. Thanks, Sue, keep up the great work. Glad to hear you & Souldrummer are working on a transition from the ‘lapsed blogger’.

    Always thought the Instructional league was the ultimate in ‘seamhead only’ material, but i enjoy every bit of it. Sue, does post your say your going down there to check it out? Wasn’t sure from the wording.

    If anyone goes, tell Graham Hicks father, Danny, that we miss his input. I imagine it’s been pretty stressful the last 18 months for his son, although it looks like he’s turning a corner.

  2. I will be attending one if not two games while down there…i’ll report what I can. Pretty sure it will be the Saturday game vs. Houston @ Viera. I might try to get to the game with Detroit.

  3. Thanks, TBR fan. While you’re there try and recruit some of the parents to chip in with their very personal side of things.

  4. I’ve already been “instructed” by my teen child to acquire an autograph on a bat she has. Flying with a bat….hmmmm. :o)

  5. Off topic, but do you have any idea when the Nats will name their minor league hitter and pitcher of the year? I haven’t been able to find anything on it for 2010.

  6. @all
    I’m still kind of reflecting on stuff that I’m interested in doing in the offseason. I’m kind of looking at things in a couple of different ways that reflect my interests.
    1) Basically supporting Sue’s stuff any way I can. Not sure how much that means on the AFL or not. I’ll certainly be following box scores and the like and chiming in from time to time.
    2) I’m interested in narrative stuff that connects prospects to the big club. Ultimately, I’m still a DC fan and at Federal Baseball the audience I’m writing for is mostly concerned with prospects they’ll see in DC (like the who is the Joe Bisenius questions I got during last night’s gamethread) than minor league results or folks outside the Top 50 who are in the low minors.
    3) My own interest for getting into some of this and hanging out at Sickels is trying to do more comparative stuff between our org and other orgs. There are some real blind spots in how we look at our own guys between how we look at guys in other orgs. Again, I see this more on Fed Ball. You’ve got people who are Marrero believers who don’t know who Freddie Freeman is over there who are just starting to be aware of some of the prospects.
    4) Stuff of user interest that I can research.

    I think my operating procedure going forward is to check in around here, work on narrative stuff as I am so moved, and post in the comments here when I get around to writing something as I am so moved.

    I’m in my postminors, endseason slog, waiting for Caps season to start hangover so as always things are somewhat subject to change. 😉

    1. Agreed. BA appears to be giving props to Espinosa for batter of the year, but I don’t think anyone can argue with Milone.

  7. It’s not prospect of the year; it’s batter of the year. Moore had the best offensive season in Nats minors history. Give him the award even while trying to rein in fans expectations for him to be the second coming.

  8. Hello Everybody,
    Was listening to Nats postgame today and there was a lengthy interview with Rick Schu, the Nats organizational hitting coordinator and this is what he said.

    1) Tyler Moore — Will be late for the instructional league because he’s coming to D.C to receive the award for ‘Best Hitter’ of the Nats system.
    He’s going to Florida to almost exclusively work on his defense, as they don’t need to tinker
    with his swing.
    2) Justin Bloxton — They thought had a major knee injury to deal with until they operated and found his knee wasn’t that bad at all and he’ll be fully recoovered soon.
    3) J.P. Ramirez — Consistency is the word for him, bat after bat.
    4) Eury Perez — Lightning fast hands and a very natural feel for the game, he says Perez is extremey coachable.
    5) Randolph Oduber — The GCL Player of theYear is a major talent who they think could be a lot better once they get his fundamentals on a firmer footing.
    6) Russell Moldanhauer — Major potential at the plate, they think he could play both 1st & 3rd, and will be receiving major help with his fielding skills.

    As I look at this, I want to add I hope J.P has a growth spurt left in him, because he doesn’t seemed to have grown a lot since High School. Last time I checked he was still only listed at 5’10”.

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