This could be an important camp for the Angels' top prospect, catcher Hank Conger. It also could be several weeks of pain.
Mike Scioscia is notoriously tough on young catchers and Conger's deficiencies are in the area Scioscia pays strictest attention to.
"He's a young catcher who's barely caught 150-160 games in his career," Scioscia said. "There's some growth that's needed on the defensive end. I think this camp will go a long way to getting him closer to the finished product."
Conger has had two days of Scioscia's tutelage so far, but it will get more intense as the spring progresses and the catchers begin working on pitch-calling and catching drills.
"He's everywhere," Conger said. "He's always on top of everything no matter what we're doing, whether it's bunts, blocking the plate. He wants it to be perfect."
The Angels drafted Conger in the first round in 2006 because they thought he had rare hitting ability for a catcher. He batted .294 with 11 home runs and 68 RBIs at Double-A Arkansas last season. Conger, 22, could make it easier for the Angels to trade one of their two current catchers, Mike Napoli or Jeff Mathis, if he continues to develop.
"His long-range upside is to be a really dynamic two-way player, both on the defensive side and with the bat," Scioscia said.