Minor leaguers get well-rounded education at Camden Yards camp

The Orioles may be on the road right now, but Camden Yards is still hosting some ballplayers for the next two weeks.

The O's were not able to have their normal instructional league for minor leaguers this year due to the field and stadium renovations going on in Sarasota.

So they have brought 15 minor leaguers to Baltimore where, beginning this past Monday, they are getting daily individual and team work with drills, instruction and teaching from six coaches.

Players including Manny Machado, Mychal Givens, Connor Narron, Xavier Avery and L.J Hoes are taking part.

There are the usual drills on individual and team defense, bunting and base running work and hitting in the cage and on the field in batting practice. The players start around 8 each morning and continue to around 2 p.m.

But the players are getting an education off the field as well. Each day the players take part in seminars, like the one Tuesday on situational hitting.

"It's more a discussion and feedback period, on various aspects of the game. We are doing a thing we call baseball IQ. We put scenarios out to the players and get their feedback on what they should do in certain situations," O's assistant director of player development, Tripp Norton said.

"We really wanted to have a good ratio of instructors to players to emphasize some one on one instruction.

"This may not replace the work you can do in a normal instructional league period. We are missing out on the 15 to 18 games you normally play, but through this we found something that maybe in the future we could add in addition to instructional league."

The players will get a tour of the Sports Legends Museum next to Camden Yards so they can see and learn about the history of the Orioles.

"We want them to get a better grasp of the history of the organization and understand just what they are a part of. Some of the kids may not truly understand what the Orioles are about and where we've been as a franchise. You try to expose them to some things we wouldn't necessarily be able to do in Sarasota," Norton said.

"Each player is going to do at least one community service event that our community relations department has set up. Some of the things that big league guys do. We are trying to get them exposure to what goes on the big league side of things on and off the field.

"We are going to do a media training seminar and a social media training seminar dealing with things like Facebook, Twitter and new age media.

"At the end of this we will also give each player their off season strength and conditioning program. Good chance to see where they are now and where we want them to be coming into spring training."

This camp will not replace future instructional league workouts in Florida, but is something the club could continue in future years.

"Once we go through this, we can look back and evaluate it, see what worked and what didn't. If it is something we can add in the future, we'd be open to it," Norton said.

Click here for the list of players and coaches taking part in the Camden Yards camp.

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