Catching Rays: Twelve Former Hot Rods Participating in Rays Winter Ball
Every Wednesday on the Tune-Up Blog, we are going to take a look at the happenings around the Rays system (with a special eye on Hot Rods alums) in a segment called Catching Rays.
This week, we turn our attention to Tropicana Field where the fourth annual Rays Winter Development Program is currently taking place. Side note: think The Trop is glad to be hosting baseball again? The Rays home turf hosted the Beef ‘O’ Brady’s Bowl back in December (UCF 38, Ball St. 17, in case you were wondering).
Back to baseball…informally known as another version of “Winter Ball”, the Rays Winter Development Program is for select minor league players and runs this week Monday through Thursday. Thirty-one players are attending this season, including 12 former Hot Rods and 15 former first round or first round-supplemental picks.
Winter Ball is not unique to the Rays system…every Major League team will handle it differently. The Rays players this year will – first and foremost – participate in a baseball workout at The Trop, receiving instruction from the Rays Minor League staff. Winter Ball is not just about between the lines, however. The guys will receive media training and visit MacDill Air Force Base and the Pinellas Park Boys and Girls Club.
Receiving an invite to Winter Ball is obviously not a punishment to interrupt your from some R & R in the offseason. It should be seen as an honor and another sign that the Major League club thinks highly enough of you to invest more time and energy into you.
Here is the complete list of former Hot Rods participating in the 2013 Rays Winter Development Program at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Florida:
Alex Colome (’10) – RHP
Frank De Los Santos (’09) – LHP
Parker Markel (’12) – RHP
Felipe Rivero (’12) – LHP
Enny Romero (’11) – LHP
Nick Sawyer (’12) – RHP
Tim Beckham (’09) – INF
Tyler Goeddel (’12) – 3B
Jake Hager (’12) – SS
Kes Carter (’12) – OF
Josh Sale (’12) – OF
Drew Vettleson (’12) – OF