SAN DIEGO -- Many of the Padres' top Minor League prospects have gathered this week at the team's Spring Training complex in Peoria, Ariz., for the start of instructional league.
Players reported to Peoria on Wednesday, with the first workout set for Thursday. The Padres will field one team for the duration of instructional league that will begin play on Sept. 18. Games will continue through Oct. 7.
Members of the player development staff, led by Randy Smith, the club's vice president of player development and international scouting, will preside over workouts. He'll be assisted by Minor League coaches and roving instructors and coordinators.
A total of 74 players will take part in instructional league, though several won't join until late because Class A Fort Wayne is playing in the Midwest League championship series.
Some of the Padres' top prospects will be in Arizona, including all three of the team's top Draft picks from June, pitchers Walker Weickel, Max Fried and Zach Eflin, who earlier in the week paid a visit to Petco Park.