Fall Instructs Rosters International Preview [Part I]

While the minor league season has officially come to a close, many players have not put down the uniform for the final time this year. After MiLB playoffs conclude, all but four major league organisations hold a fall instructional camp, commonly known as ‘Fall Instructs’ or simply, ‘Instructs’. Each club chooses, on average, around 40 players, half of them pitchers, to attend Instructs.

The purpose of this camp is two-fold. First, it gives the organisation an opportunity to see some players up close, particularly as those invited are usually in the 18-22 range, often either draft picks or international signings in their first year in America. The second is that the club can work with these young players on specific skills, while also helping them to prepare for what, in many cases, is their first off-season.

This camp is held at the team’s spring training home and can last anywhere from two-to-four weeks, with anywhere from a handful of games to 12 or more contests. The contests are quite toned-down, with the purpose to offer game situations to work on specific drills, rather than to win. While this is true generally of minor league games, the fall instructs schedule does not offer any restrictions on substitutions, game management, or in-game instruction.

While most clubs play against instructs rosters from other organisations nearby, it has become more common in the last five years or so for international teams to arrange for tours of Arizona or Florida clubs. In recent years, these have included KBO and NPB teams, plus national federations like Canada. This year, Canada, Italy, and Germany are both sending squads, with the latter an Under-23 side. Schedules can be accessed for Canada, Italy, and Germany.

Over the past 10 days, we have been previewing the various instructs rosters @ExtraInningsUK, paying special attention to any player from outside one of the five most well-known baseball player-producing regions. As a result, we have ignored the numerous players in camps from the U.S., Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, Venezuela, and Cuba. Instead, we have previewed players from every continent, with the Bahamas standing out as a country with quite a few players at instructs.

For ease of reading, our preview is broken down by organisation.

Arizona
The first of five Bahamian players in instructs is the Diamondbacks’ Kristian Robinson, who had a superb first pro season, playing in both the AZL and Missoula and excelling in both, despite being 2.5-3.5 years younger than the competition. The outfielder hit .279/.363/.428 with 12 SB, better at higher level. Dbacks also have Shumpei Yoshikawa, who broke international signing rules when he inked a contract with Arizona a month ago, likely precluding him from ever playing for Japan [link].

Atlanta and Baltimore
No players from places other than the five countries listed above.

Boston

Quiroz homering in the WBC. ©ExtraInningsUK

There are a few interesting international players attending Red Sox’ instructs: Justin Qiang (Tibet), Roniel Raudes (Nicaragua), and Esteban Quiroz (México). Two noteworthy international players were not invited in Brazil’s Edilson Batista or Germany’s Marco Cardoso, the latter of which has an unclear status.

Cincinnati
After a strong season, Great Britain’s Reshard Munroe was selected for fall instructionals from October 1-13, where one of the games will come against fellow CEB member Italy (Oct. 4). Munroe, who hails hit .253/.341/.404 with 15 steals between the Pioneer and Midwest Leagues.

Munroe will be joined by a fellow Caribbean player eligible in Europe as Curaçao’s Hendrik Clementina, a fast-rising prospect, also appears. Clementina came over from the Dodgers in 2017 & had a big first full season, slashing .268/.327/.497 as a C, throwing out 30% of runners.

Chicago (NL)
Does not hold instructional league.

Cleveland
Did not release roster.

Colorado and Chicago (AL)
None.

Detroit
The Tigers have Ulrich Bojarski at instructs. The outfielder is the only African in any camp, while the South African has also played the last two years for Perth and slashed .202/.281/.365 across three rookie levels in 2018. Hit .307 as a 19-year old for the Heat last year.

Tomorrow we break down Houston through Oakland, before returning on Thursday for the final 10 teams.

About Gabriel Fidler

Extra Innings UK covers baseball around the world, focussing on the sport at the national team level, with features on prominent players, scouting reports, and occasional breaking news. We are fully credentialled by MLB and have covered the World Baseball Classic, continental championships, and the U.S. minor leagues.
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