Prospects appreciate opportunity to join big league camp

Young talent taking advantage of experience

Prospects appreciate opportunity to join big league camp

KISSIMMEE, Fla. -- Andrew Aplin dresses at a locker inside the clubhouse at Osceola County Stadium that's nearly in the shower. Joe Sclafani's locker is in a corner right next to fellow prospect Matt Duffy, making it hard for either player to get comfortable.

Despite the less-than-favorable locker assignments, none of the prospects who are in Major League camp for the first time are complaining. They're keeping their heads down, staying quiet and watching and learning as much as they can without getting in the way.

"It's been a great experience so far," said Sclafani, a 24-year-old infielder who split last season between Double-A and Triple-A. "I've gotten to play with a few of these guys last year in Triple-A, but it's cool to get up closer with everyone and see how they work and how everything ticks. It's been a great experience, and I'm enjoying it."

Aplin's RBI triple

Aplin and Nolan Fontana are roommates this spring and have their lockers next to each other. They've watched how the veterans have been working.

"It's been great being in here with these guys, some veterans and people with experience," said Aplin, an outfielder who also split time between Oklahoma City and Corpus Christi. "Just being able to pick some of their brains and kind of feeding off their knowledge and their experiences has been great."

Fontana's three-run tater

Fontana, a second-round pick in the 2012 First-Year Player Draft and ranked 16th among the club's prospects by MLB.com, played in 66 games at Double-A last year before breaking his right pinkie and having to undergo surgery. He has a career .427 on-base percentage and is ready to show what he can do in games.

"When I got the call I was going to [Major League camp], I was really excited," he said. "It's a steppingstone. You have to do it at some point. The biggest thing is to learn day in and day out while you're here and try to be a sponge with everybody you can."

Brian McTaggart is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, Tag's Lines. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.