Padres big league camp really came alive today as the team got together at Peoria Sports Complex for their first full-squad workout.
As he has been doing since the start of Spring Training, Bob Scanlan, provided his daily report from Padres camp on his website.
It starts as a simple click-clack, click-clack, click-clack…the sound of spikes hitting the cement on the walkway as he makes his way from the clubhouse towards the field. A few seconds later another player walks out, and an unsynchronized duet begins, clickity-clackity, clackity-clackity. Moments later a group of players emerge, initiating a surge as the entire team begins to pour through the clubhouse doors, and as it does that sound, the sound of their spikes on the pavement, quickly crescendos into a cacophony of metal on cement, that triggers a heightened awareness in me that it’s on – spring training baseball is here!
Oh man. I got CHILLS reading that. Scanman goes on to talk about today's workouts. One of my favorite things on which he elaborated was Casey Kelly's throwing session in the bullpen. He pointed out that a group of Padres players came to watch Kelly throw, then stayed and gave him high fives when he was done. I love hearing little anecdotes like that about the team and how supportive of each other they are. It warms my heart.
Not only has Scan been painting us word pictures, he's also been posting lots of actual pictures on his Instagram. And they're awesome.
I just love how Scan has been stepping up his social media game and feeding our hunger for baseball news and images while helping us become better informed fans. He's been, by far, my favorite resource from which to get information and keep myself updated on the team this Spring. But Corey Brock and the Padres' Twitter and Vine accounts have helped me get my Friar fix as well.
Some other stuff that happened in Padres land today:
In addition to receiving this award, Hedges was also named #27 in Baseball America's Top 100 Prospects list, which was released tonight. Matt Wisler, Max Fried, and Hunter Renfroe also made the rankings, but more on that to come...
Officially kicked off my 31st yr in baseball, 23rd w/ SD, w/ the start of Mini-Camp. What a blast! Kids looked great. Love it— Randy Smith (@ResPadres) February 20, 2014
Since Randy Smith began conducting these minor league minicamps five years ago, they've proved to be invaluable for players, providing them with experience and instruction that help give them a head start in their careers. As Corey Brock reports, Austin Hedges and Matt Wisler attended minicamp in recent years and attested to its value in helping them develop as players.
Austin Hedges, considered by many to be the best defensive catcher in the Minor Leagues, went through the minicamp in 2012. Now, in his second big league camp, Hedges can testify as to how beneficial his minicamp experience was.
"It was my first Spring Training, and you really don't know what to expect. But to get a jump start with a smaller group of guys, I think it gave me an edge, an advantage over guys who didn't get to do it," he said. "Getting that one-on-one time with [former catcher Brad Ausmus] and the other instructors was very helpful."
But, really, the focus is on personalized instruction. The rest of the team's Minor League players report on Feb. 28. By that time, the minicamp group will already be well on its way.
"It felt like we were already way ahead of them," said pitcher Matt Wisler, who attended minicamp in 2012 and again last year. "When it's over, you feel really good. I know I felt more ready."
It's so exciting seeing and hearing about all this action happening in Peoria. Less than ten days until our boys play their first Spring Training game and less than 39 days until the Opening Night!! WE'RE ALMOST THERE, GUYS.