GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Paul Janish was named the White Sox director of player development Thursday and reached this lofty post partially because he wasn’t a dominant or standout Major Leaguer, by his own admission.
“So, I had to really pay attention to what was going on,” Janish said during a Zoom conference. “Over the course of time, in the Minor Leagues and the big leagues, it was something that I was super intentional about -- relationships, understanding the dynamic between coaches and players.
“It was a different lens that I looked through, being for the majority of my playing career a utility player at the big league level. It just provides a lot of opportunity to communicate with people in a different way, and that's going to play in this position, as well.”
Janish, 41, replaces Chris Getz, who was named the White Sox general manager on Aug. 1. Getz’s single voice basically replaced executive vice president Ken Williams and general manager Rick Hahn, who were relieved of their respective duties on Aug. 22.
In Janish, Getz and assistant general manager Josh Barfield, the White Sox have a unique trio of player development director experience – past and present – with the ability to translate information from the lowest rung of the system to the top of the Majors. Janish spoke Thursday about communication up and down the organization and everybody pulling in the same direction serving as one focal point of his early talks with Getz.
“I look forward to helping aid that process, because I do think it's important for everybody to feel important,” Janish said. “At the end of the day, that's going to be the aspiration.
“That's a big part of the college level. The 18-to-22-year-old, communication with that age group is very much the same way, a lot of different variables that come into play that you wouldn't even expect. It's going to be more of the same, but in a different way, at a more professional level, and I look forward to it."
Over the last two seasons, Janish served as associate head coach for Rice University’s baseball team. He originally was hired by the Owls as an assistant coach in August 2017, and during his tenure at Rice, 14 players were selected in Major League Baseball’s Draft, including five in the Top 10 rounds.
Janish played in 473 Major League games over parts of nine seasons with Cincinnati (2008-11), Atlanta (2012-13) and Baltimore (2015-17). A fifth-round selection by the Reds in the 2004 MLB Draft, Janish was a member of Rice’s 2003 National Championship team, which included former White Sox pitchers David Aardsma and Philip Humber.
“More than anything, foundationally, he understands what it takes to be a professional,” Getz said of Janish. “As we take a step forward here and set a direction for the Chicago White Sox, he's the right person to establish the identity that's needed to put a quality product on the field to compete for championships.”
“I'm really excited to be back on the pro side,” Janish said. “I’m excited to be part of the White Sox organization in general.”
Getz and Janish are among the White Sox department heads presently taking part in the organizational meetings. The White Sox entire big league coaching staff will be announced soon, according to Getz, and on Monday, Getz further puts his imprint on this team with the start of the GM Meetings in Scottsdale, Ariz.
“I’ve had a lot of conversations with other general managers around the league, just understanding their needs and certainly conveying what we’re set out to do as well and see if we match up,” Getz said. “Clearly, we’ve got some work to do based on the production we’ve had on the field the last two years. I certainly have a vision for our club for next year and years after.”