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Padres giving prospects extra attention

Padres giving prospects extra attention

PEORIA, Ariz. -- A group of 30 of the Padres' top Minor League players will report early to Peoria this week to take part in the team's annual minicamp for many of its top lower-level prospects.

The players will report Friday for the minicamp, with the first workout set for Saturday at the Peoria Sports Complex. The minicamp runs through March 12.

The minicamp, headed by director of player development Randy Smith, is an accelerated development program for players entering their first or second full season or players who might be jumping a level.

Smith organized the first minicamp last spring and saw positive results.

"I'm a huge believer in this program and was thrilled we were able to add to the program [from] last year. I think one of the real benefits to the program is that the players get to take the instruction and whatever the adjustments we make into the regular season," Smith said.

"The players are fresh and anxious to work."

There will be 10 instructors on the field during the minicamp, Smith said. The camp will include one-on-one instruction and video sessions before and after workouts.

The minicamp idea isn't a new concept for Smith or the Padres. Smith said the origin of such a program dates back to the late 1980s when Tom Romenesko was the Padres' farm director and Smith was the scouting director.

The goal is simple: to get players a head start with thorough instruction.

"It's getting these guys off to a good start, to give them a little head start," said Smith, who had success with a similar program during his five years as the general manager in Detroit (1996-2002).

Three players from the minicamp in 2010 are in Major League camp this spring -- catcher Jason Hagerty, pitcher Matthew Lollis and infielder Jeudy Valdez.

The 2011 minicamp will include pitchers Johnny Barbato, Paul Bingham, Yerfi Carvajal, Zach Cates, Jose De Paula, Chris Franklin, Juan Herrera, James Needy, Tyler Norwood, Adys Portillo, Eugenio Reyes, Keyvius Sampson and Gerald Sullivan, catchers Rocky Gale, Dan Killian and Emmanuel Quiles, infielders Chris Bisson, Wes Cunningham, Jonathan Galvez, Brian Guinn, Jedd Gyorko and Edinson Rincon and outfielders Corey Adamson, Luis Domoromo, Jose Dore, Reymond Fuentes, Rymer Liriano, Rico Noel, Donovan Tate and Everett Williams.

Bingham (formerly a third baseman) and Carvajal (outfielder) have been converted into pitchers.

Tate was the third overall pick in the 2009 First-Year Player Draft. He received a club-record $6.25 million signing bonus.

Fuentes was one of four players obtained in the December trade that send first baseman Adrian Gonzalez to the Red Sox.

Corey Brock is a reporter for MLB.com. Keep track of @FollowThePadres on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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