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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But as Chris Getz — whose “director of player development” title has been replaced by “assistant general manager/player development” — couldn’t quite cement the hierarchy in the White Sox’s press release.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
|Director||Chris Getz||Chris Getz|
|Senior Director of Minor League Operations||Grace Guerrero Zwit||Grace Guerrero Zwit|
|Field coordinator||Doug Sisson||Doug Sisson|
|Pitching coordinator||Everett Teaford||Everett Teaford|
|Assistant pitching coordinator||J.R. Perdew||J. R. Perdew|
|Hitting advisor to player development||Ben Broussard||Andy Barkett|
|Assistant hitting coordinator||Ryan Johansen||Ryan Johansen|
|Catching coordinator||John Orton||John Orton|
|Performance coordinator||Goldy Simmons||Goldy Simmons|
|Senior Biomechanical Engineer||Ben Hansen||Ben 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
|Assistant Director, Player Development||Rod Larson|
|Kenny Williams Jr.|
|Assistant Director, Baseball Operations||n/a||Graham Harboe|
|Assistant, Player Development||Rafael Santana|
|Rehab pitching coach||Steve McCatty||Donnie Veal|
|Education Coordinator||Erin Santana||Erin Santana|
|Latin/Cultural Development Coordinator||Anthony Santiago||Grant Flick|
|Quality Control||Zach Jones|
|Coordinator, Baseball Information||n/a||Devin Pickett|
|Analyst, Player Development||n/a||Zach 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.
|Manager||Wes Helms||Wes Helms|
|Pitching coach||Matt Zaleski||Matt Zaleski|
|Hitting coach||Howie Clark||Chris Johnson|
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.
|Manager||Justin Jirschele||Justin Jirschele|
|Pitching coach||Richard Dotson||Richard Dotson|
|Hitting coach||Charlie Romero||Cam Seitzer|
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.
|Manager||Ryan Newman||Ryan Newman|
|Pitching coach||Danny Farquhar||Danny Farquhar|
|Hitting coach||Charlie Poe||Mike 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
|Manager||Guillermo Quiroz||Guillermo Quiroz|
|Pitching coach||José Bautista||John Ely|
|Hitting coach||Cole Armstrong||Charlie Romero|
|Coach||Patrick Leyland||Patrick 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
|Manager||Ever Magallanes||Ever Magallanes|
|Pitching coach||Felipe Lira|
|Hitting coach||Gary Ward||Devin DeYoung|
|Coach||Louis Silverio||Mike 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
|Academy supervisor||Louis Silverio||Louis Silverio|
|Field coordinator||Guillermo Reyes||Julio Bruno|
|Assistant field coordinator||n/a||Guillermo Reyes|
|Complex operations coordinator||Manuel Santana||Manuel Santana|
|Manager||Angel Rosario||Ángel Rosario|
|Pitching coach||Leo Hernández||Leo Hernández|
|Hitting coach||Gerardo Olivares||Gerardo Olivares|
|Assistant pitching coach||José Brito||José Brito|
|Assistant hitting coach||Ángel González||Angel González|
|Outfield coach||Julio Ramirez||n/a|
No changes of note except for the elimination of Ramirez’s post.
(Ron Vesely/Chicago White Sox)