For Matt Wallach, the third year in the Dodgers Winter Development Program will be all about learning to use his glove.
For the fifth straight year, the Dodgers will hold their Winter Development Program in Los Angeles, a program designed to help minor league players acclimate to major league life both on and off the field. The week-long program begins this weekend.
Don Mattingly, Tim Wallach, and Dave Hansen from the major league coaching staff will provide instruction, as will several roving instructors and those in player development. In addition to workouts at Dodger Stadium and instruction on diet, media relations, and MLB travel, the prospects will visit various places around Los Angeles. This year, the players will visit a youth center in Los Angeles called A Place Called Home, and will also attend a Los Angeles Clippers' game.
There are 15 Dodgers' prospects taking part in this year's Winter Development Program, including 2011 organizational player of the year Scott Van Slyke (True Blue LA No. 14 Dodgers prospect) and pitcher of the year Shawn Tolleson (No. 8). Joining those two are Alex Castellanos (No. 17), Griff Erickson , Tim Federowicz (No. 9), Tyler Henson, Alfredo Silverio (No. 13), Matt Wallach, and pitchers Steven Ames, Michael Antonini, Stephen Fife, Josh Wall, Allen Webster (No. 2), Chris Withrow (No. 6), and established major leaguer Rubby De La Rosa.
De La Rosa, Erickson, and Ames also participated in the program last year. For Wallach and Withrow, they are the established veterans of the program as this is their third straight year coming to Dodger Stadium in January.
Seven players from last year's program — De La Rosa, Dee Gordon, Jerry Sands, Javy Guerra, Nathan Eovaldi, and Justin Sellers with the Dodgers; and Trayvon Robinson with the Seattle Mariners — played in the major leagues last season.