The new names, jobs of the 2021 White Sox player development staff

Officially, the White Sox’s minor league affiliates for the next decade haven’t been established.

Unofficially, it seems like it’s business as usual, just a month later.

The White Sox released their player development staff roster for the 2021 season, and it still identifies Charlotte, Birmingham, Winston-Salem and Kannapolis as the non-complex assignments for their coaches. Coming from the other side, the affiliates all sent out press releases and social media posts announcing the same.

But as Chris Getz — whose “director of player development” title has been replaced by “assistant general manager/player development” — couldn’t quite cement the hierarchy in the White Sox’s press release.

“After a challenging 2020, we are looking forward to and anticipating a season of development across the entire organization,” Getz said. “The White Sox are very fortunate to have terrific existing relationships in place with all four of our potential affiliates, and we are excited for the eventual return to some type of normalcy in the player development and affiliate world. I am very pleased with the staff we have in place, as we look forward to getting up and running to full speed as soon as conditions allow.”

The release follows up by saying that the acceptance of Player Development Licenses and other details will be issued by Major League Baseball in the coming weeks.

Getz isn’t the only one to receive a new title for a similar sounding role. The White Sox have reassigned some of last year’s names to similar-sounding roles. Otherwise, the biggest changes are mostly on the hitting side, because previous Charlotte hitting coach Howie Clark is Frank Menechino’s assistant with the big league club. I’ve tried to adjust last year’s chart to account for some of the title shift. It’d be great if they kept some consistency for 2022.

PLAYER DEVELOPMENT STAFF

Role20202021
DirectorChris GetzChris Getz
Senior Director of Minor League OperationsGrace Guerrero ZwitGrace Guerrero Zwit
Field coordinatorDoug SissonDoug Sisson
Pitching coordinatorEverett TeafordEverett Teaford
Assistant pitching coordinatorJ.R. PerdewJ. R. Perdew
Hitting advisor to player developmentBen BroussardAndy Barkett
Assistant hitting coordinatorRyan JohansenRyan Johansen
Catching coordinatorJohn OrtonJohn Orton
Performance coordinatorGoldy SimmonsGoldy Simmons
Senior Biomechanical EngineerBen HansenBen Hansen

Broussard, who had previously spent time as the team’s leadership and development coordinator, never got a chance to get his hitting advisor career off the ground. Chris Getz said Broussard stepped away to spend more time with his family, so in comes Barkett. Barkett was hired by the University of Central Florida as a coach in 2020, after spending two years as the Boston Red Sox’s assistant hitting coach. Grace Guerrero Zwit isn’t a new name, but here’s a good article about her.

ASSISTANTS TO PLAYER DEVELOPMENT

Role20202021
Assistant Director, Player DevelopmentRod Larson
Graham Harboe
Kenny Williams Jr.
Assistant Director, Baseball Operationsn/aGraham Harboe
Rod Larson
Assistant, Player DevelopmentRafael Santana
Tommy Thompson
Diego Francisco
Diego Francisco
Rehab pitching coachSteve McCattyDonnie Veal
Education CoordinatorErin SantanaErin Santana
Latin/Cultural Development CoordinatorAnthony SantiagoGrant Flick
Quality ControlZach Jones
Nate Pearson
Devin Pickett
n/a
Coordinator, Baseball Informationn/aDevin Pickett
Analyst, Player Developmentn/aZach Jones

Kenny Williams tipped the addition of his son to the White Sox system in a Bob Nightengale story from December. In seeing another offseason go by without a Black person ascending into a main front office role, Williams said:

“I can’t even tell my own son (Ken Williams Jr.), who’s our assistant player development director,’’ Williams said, “to stay in the game because I don’t know if there will be an opportunity for him. No matter how good he gets, will there be an opportunity for him ahead? I can’t say that. What evidence is there this will be the case? And I can’t begin to tell you how much that hurts.”

Veal, a White Sox reliever from 2012-14, makes his coaching staff debut at the age of 36.

CHARLOTTE KNIGHTS

Role20202021
ManagerWes HelmsWes Helms
Pitching coachMatt ZaleskiMatt Zaleski
Hitting coachHowie ClarkChris Johnson
CoachMike Danieln/a

Johnson signed a minor-league deal with the White Sox back in January 2019, three years after his last MLB plate appearance with the Miami Marlins, but it didn’t have a non-roster invitation to spring training attached, so he didn’t really surface. Perhaps he still made an impression, because he replaces Clark at Charlotte’s hitting coach.

BIRMINGHAM BARONS

Role20202021
ManagerJustin JirscheleJustin Jirschele
Pitching coachRichard DotsonRichard Dotson
Hitting coachCharlie RomeroCam Seitzer
CoachDevin DeYoungn/a

Justin Jirschele didn’t get a chance to get Omar Vizquel’s stink out of the Birmingham clubhouse last season, so here’s take two at the ripe old age of 30. Seitzer was supposed to be the hitting coach for Great Falls last year, so it’s theoretically his second year as a coach, even though it’s his first in this role in practice.

WINSTON-SALEM DASH

Role20202021
ManagerRyan NewmanRyan Newman
Pitching coachDanny FarquharDanny Farquhar
Hitting coachCharlie PoeMike Daniel

Daniel’s another guy whose coaching career got off to a false start. He attended high school in the Charlotte and college at UNC, then spent seven season in professional baseball after being selected in the seventh round by the Washington Nationals.

KANNAPOLIS CANNON BALLERS

Role20202021
ManagerGuillermo QuirozGuillermo Quiroz
Pitching coachJosé BautistaJohn Ely
Hitting coachCole ArmstrongCharlie Romero
CoachPatrick LeylandPatrick Leyland

Ely had spent the last few seasons in Great Falls, so both he and Seitzer survived the realignment. Patrick Leyland is the son of Jim Leyland.

ARIZONA ROOKIE LEAGUE

Role20202021
ManagerEver MagallanesEver Magallanes
Pitching coachFelipe Lira
Drew Hasler
Drew Hasler
Hitting coachGary WardDevin DeYoung
CoachLouis SilverioMike Gellinger

DeYoung gets his first main gig, supplanting Ward, who had coached up and down the chain for years and years. Drew Hasler, the son of White Sox bullpen coach Curt Hasler, gets his first solo gig after sharing duties in the past. Gellinger, who has served in all sorts of roles over the years, was most recently supposed to manage in Great Falls in 2020.

DOMINICAN SUMMER LEAGUE

Role20202021
Academy supervisorLouis SilverioLouis Silverio
Field coordinatorGuillermo ReyesJulio Bruno
Assistant field coordinatorn/aGuillermo Reyes
Complex operations coordinatorManuel SantanaManuel Santana
ManagerAngel RosarioÁngel Rosario
Pitching coachLeo HernándezLeo Hernández
Hitting coachGerardo OlivaresGerardo Olivares
Assistant pitching coachJosé BritoJosé Brito
Assistant hitting coachÁngel GonzálezAngel González
Outfield coachJulio Ramirezn/a

No changes of note except for the elimination of Ramirez’s post.

(Ron Vesely/Chicago White Sox)

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Jim Margalus

Writing about the White Sox for a 16th season, first here, then at South Side Sox, and now here again. Let’s talk curling.

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ParisSox

Devin DeYoung starting his solo career. I hope it styx.

I’ll see myself out.

asinwreck

October 2005:

Former Styx lead singer Dennis DeYoung has been a White Sox fan since he was 5 and became friends with then-Sox manager Tony La Russa in 1979. “Someone told me he had been on the local rock radio station saying Styx was his favorite band, so I just took a tour jacket down to 35th Street. And I was gonna just drop it off and say, compliments of me,' and they ushered me back to the clubhouse. . . . Tony La Russa came out and said,Dennis DeYoung!’ and I said `Tony La Russa!'” When La Russa won the division championship with the Sox in 1983, he gave DeYoung his jersey. “So if the White Sox and Cardinals should be in the World Series, I’ll go to one of the games with the Tony La Russa jersey on.”

dongutteridge

Twins signing Colome.

roke1960

1 year, $5 million.

Michael Kenny

I didn’t expect him to get 3/30 or anything, but this seems like a bargain. Great.

Trooper Galactus

JFC, that’s an incredible deal for the Twins. And now they’re basically a Carlos Rodon-type signing away from payroll parity with the White Sox.

tommytwonines

Man, I’d love a bucket of JFC right now. Is that like extra, extra crispy? Anyone want in?

Actually, I’m more original recipe material so never mind.

And that Colomé deal hurts.

Last edited 1 year ago by tommytwonines
Trooper Galactus

Twins getting the meal and the sides while Hahn is just getting the chicken and hoping nobody at the party is a vegetarian.

MarketMaker

hahn brought a 3-day old rotisserie chicken from jewel and hopes it will feed 10.

Trooper Galactus

This looks suspiciously like the sort of free agent contract that Rick Hahn keeps trying and failing to ink. This leaves him having to trade for other teams’ good contracts (re: Lance Lynn).

shaggy65

The Twins have been the kings of finding these value deals the last couple years. He’s a great fit for their bullpen and an underrated talent. This is basically the worst case scenario for Colome’s free agency.

Eagle Bones

Twins now 2.5 wins ahead of the sox on depth charts. Obviously they still need to play the games, but it’s very disappointing to not at least go into the season in a dead heat with them in terms of projections.

Trooper Galactus

Springer instead of Eaton would have made that even, if not a one win advantage for the White Sox.

Trooper Galactus

I find it funny that Williams laments the lack of Black front office personnel in baseball while using his son, whose primary qualification for his position is that he’s Kenny Williams’ son, as an example of an industry up-and-comer being blocked. And while I don’t mean to denigrate Junior’s contributions or abilities (I’m admittedly not familiar with them), but in an organization whose hiring practices rarely seem to involve interviewing multiple candidates for important positions, I can’t be convinced that he represents a merit-based hiring even among a pool of exclusively African-American candidates.

tommytwonines

There is a bit of nepotism on this list of hires/names.

I love Joe Buck, though.

Last edited 1 year ago by tommytwonines
mikeyb

The same organization that fired a Mexican-American Manager who had just made the playoffs in order to hire the 76 year old white guy whose main qualification for the job seems to be “friend of a billionaire.”

Trooper Galactus

Look, I hate the TLR hire as much as anybody, but he has a lot of bonafides you could point to outside of nepotism, however dated they may be.

Last edited 1 year ago by Trooper Galactus
mikeyb

He hasn’t managed a baseball team at any level in a decade. I’d be curious to know if a manager has ever been hired after such a long layoff before.

(Also it seems like the guy who should be doing the hiring, Hahn, absolutely did not want TLR at all)

Trooper Galactus

That doesn’t change that he has an actual resume that Williams’ son does not.

phillyd

Davey Johnson and Frank Robinson come to mind. There are probably others.

ParisSox

Jack McKeon. Not out of the game as long, but came back out of retirement to lead the Marlins to the World Series.

asinwreck

The precedent in White Sox history is Paul Richards. His last season managing the Orioles was 1961 when Bill Veeck brought him out of retirement to manage in 1976.

It did not go well.

MarketMaker

exactly.

asinwreck

The Grace Guerrero Zwit article Jim linked is worth your time, as is this story James Fegan wrote after Kim Ng was introduced as Marlins’ GM and name-checked Zwit at the press conference:

It was when Williams brought Zwit to the Winter Meetings in the mid-1990s that the scope of how male-dominated and sexist baseball was became unavoidable. It was important for Zwit to attend to establish herself as the point person for minor league business operations, but she remembers the first time she was introduced that a man responded by asking if she was Reinsdorf’s secretary.

In subsequent years, she would meet Raquel Ferreira with the Red Sox, Wendy Hoppel with the Indians, and Pamela Pitts with the A’s, and took heart that things were changing.

“I realized I was one of the few females in the room but I didn’t let it intimidate me,” Zwit said. “I just navigated it. Each year I went after that, there was another female coming in.”

Greg Nix

As a companion to Fegan’s Evan Marshall article the other day, I highly recommend checking out Jeff Passan’s story on Drew Robinson. Very candid, hard to read at points, but well worth the effort. https://www.espn.com/mlb/story/_/id/30800732/san-francisco-giants-outfielder-drew-robinson-remarkable-second-act

Eagle Bones

Is Bautista leaving the org? I seem to recall him getting some high praise in the past for his work with certain arms.

MarketMaker

i love that kenny rues a lack of opportunities for qualified individuals while citing how nepotism still carries the day in the sox organization. what a goon. you literally gifted your kid a role in the org after you gifted him a draft pick.

if you’re going to call out self-serving institutions, if would be better if you weren’t running one.