I took a trip to arizona to catch a week of Arizona Fall League games and to try to get autographs of Major League Baseball's top prospects - a wrinkle was seeing Angels minor leaguers work out at their facility for the instructional league, which consists of young players drafted in the past year and other players in the minor league system looking to get more work in before [I assume] they finally shut it down for the year.
Though I wondered what kind of
nuts baseball fans my friend and I were to be hanging around watching mostly obscure minor leaguers taking batting practice and working out otherwise - I guess it all comes down to getting the handful of cards I have for Angels minor leaguers signed, after the unsigned cards have been sitting in a box all year long.
It was my first time trying to get autographs at instructs, so my friend and were not actually quite sure where to go - during the day we planned to see the Angels minor leaguers, we they would be working out at Tempe Diablo Stadium and the main Major League complex.
After not seeing anything the morning we got to Tempe Diablo Stadium and twiddling with our thumbs - some desperate driving around led us to find a neighboring actual minor league complex for the Angels.
My friend was ready to go and get his cards signed, even though he didn't know any of the players' faces and was hoping to get help - I was a little more hesitant in going down to the practice fields where players worked out, seeing we might be stepping on some sort of restricted area.
I think my friend and I spent two mornings at the minor league complex - we saw a handful of coaches and staff from the organization including current Angels manager Mike Scioscia, current Angels hitting coach Mickey Hatcher, minor league coach Jim Gott, minor league coach Nathan Haynes, former Angel Mark Langston, former Angels shortstops Dick Schofield and Gary DiSarcina.
Ryan Bolden - he was the 40th overall pick in the 2010 draft but has struggled in the minors so far.
Chevez Clarke - like Bolden, he was a first round pick in 2010 [30th overall] who looks like he needs more work on becoming a proficient baseball players at the professional level; it seems obvious but he also needs to work on signing a better autograph.
Kaleb Cowart - he was pretty accommodating about signing otherwise.
Randal Grichuk - got my 2009 Tristar Prospects Plus dual card finished with Grichuk's autograph after getting 'Michael Trout's' autograph on the card in 2010.
Wes Hatton - it looks like he is listed as a second baseman in the card I got signed, but he is listed as a pitcher in the roster my friend had found, so I assume he is being converted to be in the mound after spending parts of three seasons in the minors as a position player.