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01/05/2009 4:27 PM ET
Thirteen players to participate in Red Sox 2009 Rookie Program
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BOSTON -- The Red Sox's 2009 Rookie Program began today in Boston. Thirteen of Boston's top prospects are taking part in the two-week program, which is designed to expose the players to the expectations of being Major Leaguers for the Red Sox.

Eleven of the participants in the Rookie Program spent all of 2008 in Boston's Minor League system: pitchers Daniel Bard, Felix Doubront, Kris Johnson, Richie Lentz, Adam Mills and Dustin Richardson; catcher Mark Wagner; infielders Lars Anderson and Argenis Diaz; and outfielders Zach Daeges and Josh Reddick. Also taking part will be pitchers Dewon Day, who was acquired from the Chicago White Sox on Oct. 17, and Wes Littleton, who was acquired from the Texas Rangers on Nov. 28.

The program includes two workouts daily that emphasize conditioning and strength training as well as concentration on fundamentals. In addition, the players are attending a number of seminars that will focus on the assimilation into Major League life off the field. A number of individuals will speak to the group, including president/CEO Larry Lucchino, general manager Theo Epstein, manager Terry Francona, Major League coaches John Farrell and Dave Magadan, sports psychology coach Bob Tewksbury, infielder Dustin Pedroia, and Hall of Fame baseball writer and ESPN reporter Peter Gammons.

There will also be a public autograph signing with the Rookie Program participants at the Official Red Sox Team Store, located across from Fenway Park on Yawkey Way, on Friday, Jan. 9 from 4:30 until 6:30 p.m. Fans making a $20.00 donation to the Red Sox Foundation will be able to take part in the signing on a first-come, first-served basis.

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