The Dodgers with their list of non-roster invitees to spring training have several younger players and prospects in camp in 2014, more so than usual. Eight of the 15 NRIs will open their spring training in big league camp for the first time in their career.
Combined with the three new additions to the 40-man roster in November - Pedro Baez, Yimi Garcia and Jarret Martin - plus the trio of Jose Dominguez, Onelki Garcia and Nick Buss, who made their major league debuts in 2013, and Cuban free agent Alexander Guerrero, the Dodgers will have 15 players in their first big league camp in February at Camelback Ranch.
This is not to say this group hasn't seen time on the big fields in the Cactus League. In just about every game there are a handful of players from minor league camp suiting up for the major league game, just in cast they are needed. Most notable in 2013 among this crew was Miguel Rojas, who played in 11 spring games for the Dodgers but only totaled eight plate appearances.
But that's not the same as starting in big league camp, which means instruction with and alongside the big boys for between 13-19 days before games even start. That experience can be invaluable, and is a big part of the players' development.
Just for fun, here is a look at the first-timers in big league camp and their previous experience in past major league spring training games:
Pedro Baez (now a pitcher): Was 2-for-4 (.500) with a walk in four games for the Dodgers during spring training in 2012; was 2-for-5 (.400) with a double and a walk in 2011.
Nick Buss: Was 2-for-7 (.286), both singles, with a run scored in four games in 2013; Was 0-for-2 in three games in 2012.
Yimi Garcia: Pitched in three games in 2013, allowed three runs (one earned) on four hits in 2⅔ innings, with four strikeouts and a walk.
Zach Lee: He only pitched in one game in 2013, allowing two runs on three hits in his one inning of work, with two strikeouts; pitched a scoreless inning with one strikeout in his one game in 2012.
Jarret Martin: Allowed two runs on two hits in one inning in his one game in 2012, with two walks and two strikeouts.
Chris O'Brien: Was 2-for-3 (.667) with a double in three games in 2013.
Red Patterson: Pitched in two games in 2013, allowing a run on four hits in 2⅔ innings, with two strikeouts and a walk.
Joc Pederson: He was 1-for-10 (.100) with a double and a hit-by-pitch in seven games in 2013; was 0-for-2 in two games in 2011.
Chris Reed: He actually pitched in four games in 2013, allowing four runs on seven hits in 6⅔ innings, with one walk and seven strikeouts; had a walk and two strikeouts in a scoreless inning in his one game in 2012.
Miguel Rojas: Was 1-for-7 (.143) with a single, a walk and three runs scored in 11 games in 2013.
Ross Stripling: He allowed one hit in a scoreless inning in his one game in 2013.
Jose Dominguez, Carlos Frias, Onelki Garcia and Guerrero have yet to appear in a major league spring training game.