Past, Present, Future Lookouts Working-Out In L.A. This Week

Monday, January 06, 2014
Zach Lee is the Dodgers' top pitching prospect.
Zach Lee is the Dodgers' top pitching prospect.
- photo by Tim Evearitt

LOS ANGELES -- With the college football season ending tonight and the NFL playoffs in full gear, this is the time serious baseball fans begin counting the days until the boys of summer pack up and head to Spring Training. In Los Angeles, several prospects get a head start.

3em;">Fifteen of the organization's top prospects, including 2013 Lookouts Joc Pederson and Zach Lee, will be brought to Los Angeles next week for the Dodgers' seventh annual Winter Development Program.

In addition to Pederson and Lee, invitees are outfielder and Dodgers position player of the year Scott Schebler; Rule 5 pitching acquisition Seth Rosin; infield defensive specialist Miguel Rojas; recent 40-man roster additions include former Lookouts' Pedro Baez, Yimi Garcia, and Jarret Martin; 2013 big league call-ups are ex-Lookouts' Jose Dominguez, Matt Magill and Nick Buss; pitching prospects Chris Reed and Ross Stripling; and catching prospects Pratt Maynard and Chris O'Brien.

Rojas might be the most intriguing of the group, as general manager Ned Colletti dropped his name as an option to play second base this year if Cuban rookie Alexander Guerrero isn't ready and the club decides to go strong defensively. Rojas has a .234 career batting average in eight Minor League seasons, but some who watched him in a few Spring Training games last year compared his defensive skills with 11-time Gold Glove Award winner Omar Vizquel.

The Winter Development Program, started by vice president of player development De Jon Watson, is designed to take the best and brightest of the farm system, accelerate their Major League arrival and aid acclimation to what they will encounter when they get there. Players will participate in workouts and seminars, plus get a taste of Dodgers community outreach with a visit to A Place Called Home, a youth center in South Los Angeles.

Among earlier participants were Clayton Kershaw and ex-Lookout Kenley Jansen. Watson's minicamp also allows club officials to get a line on each player's conditioning prior to Spring Training and to tweak flaws in a pitcher's delivery or a hitter's swing before the start of the real camp, when the player will be focused on making the club.

Those attending receive coaching on baseball skills, but they also are instructed in aspects of Major League Baseball that should be essential but often are overlooked -- from media relations to security issues to interaction with fans.

In addition to sessions with manager Don Mattingly and Colletti, the players will spend time with Hall of Fame manager Tom Lasorda, former players Maury Wills, Eric Karros and Shawn Green, and club president Stan Kasten.

--- Source: MLB.com

Ross Stripling spent most of the 2013 season with Chattanooga.
Ross Stripling spent most of the 2013 season with Chattanooga.
- Photo2 by Tim Evearitt

UTC Men Netters Stop Davidson, 4-2

Chattanooga needed Jorge Varon's best match of the season and got it. The Valencia, Venezuela senior's straight set win at No.2 singles clinched the Mocs 4-2 win against No.8 seed Davidson in a first round match of the Southern Conference Tennis Championship at The Champions Club in Rivermont. "Jorge played great in singles and doubles (winning at No.3) and of course ... (click for more)

True Blue Blog: A Daily Review Of Dodgers' Minor League Teams

True Blue,  part of the  SB Nation's  internet empire, provides Lookouts' fans with information on each of the L. A. Dodgers Minor League teams -- including the Double-A Chattanooga Lookouts. Fans who not only enjoy information about the home town team can follow many of the former Lookout players who are playing at the Triple-A level or the future Lookouts playing ... (click for more)

Haslam Signs Bill Ending Forced Annexation And Giving Tennesseans Right To Vote

Governor Bill Haslam signed HB 2371/SB2464 on Wednesday. The law ends forced annexations and gives Tennesseans the right to vote. The law now requires cities to annex by consent of the landowner or through referendum approved by a majority of the landowners to be annexed. As an additional protection to farmers, land primarily used for agriculture purposes may not be annexed by any ... (click for more)

One Of "Worst Of The Worst" Gets 10-Month Federal Sentence

One of the men labeled as the "worst of the worst" in a Chattanooga roundup was sentenced Tuesday to 10 months and three years supervised release after he pled guilty to one count of conspiracy to distribute crack cocaine. Guy Wilkerson told Federal Judge Sandy Mattice, "I'm just a young father and I want the best for my kids." He said he apologized and that he knew what he ... (click for more)

Time For Tennessee To Act On Climate This Earth Day - And Response

Tennessee will join the rest of the southeast region, the nation and countries across the world in celebrating Earth Day on April 22. The entire month of April is a great time to reflect on the strides we have made to reduce pollution over the last 44 years, and assess current environmental conditions while evaluating our personal responsibility to a cleaner environment.  ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: That Billboard & Much More

Now that early voting has started and our strawberries have hopefully survived this last blush of winter, allow me to catch up on some things but, first, here’s a letter from a concerned reader I feel compelled to share: “There is something I have noticed throughout Brainerd, East Brainerd, Dayton, etc. A billboard has been put up, I believe by the Health Department of Hamilton ... (click for more)