Florida Instructional League
The Florida Instructional League (FIL), sometimes known informally as "instructs", is an American professional baseball league. The league was founded in 1958. Young major league prospects hone their skills in the FIL, while experienced players may go there to rehabilitate from an injury, to learn a new position or to refine a particular skill.
The Florida Instructional League, which plays its games each September and October, serves to develop players who have been drafted by teams in Major League Baseball (MLB). Players in the FIL are often young prospects in their early minor league careers. An older player may go to "instructs" to hone a particular skill or to learn a new position. Some players go to the FIL as part of the injury rehabilitation process.
In 1968, Boston Red Sox outfielder Tony Conigliaro played in the league to attempt a comeback as a pitcher after suffering an injury to the face and eye the year before. Conigliaro did not make it as a pitcher, but he returned to the major leagues as an outfielder.
Whitey Herzog received his first managerial opportunity in the FIL, leading the team fielded by the New York Mets organization. Several former major league stars have served as coaches in the league, including Ted Williams, Willie Mays and Ted Simmons. Lou Brock coached in the league while still an active player for the St. Louis Cardinals.
- Stohs, Seth. "Twins Florida Instructional League Roster". Twinsdaily.com. Retrieved March 27, 2013.
- Miller, Glenn (September 20, 1984). "Instructional League Helps Youngsters Get to the Majors". The Evening Independent. Retrieved January 31, 2013.
- "Conigliaro Hits in Florida Camp". The Milwaukee Journal. November 7, 1968. Retrieved January 31, 2013.
- Ellison, Jack (September 20, 1982). "Florida Instructional League Starts 25th Year". St. Petersburg Times. Retrieved March 27, 2013.