CHICAGO -- Omar Vizquel was asked to describe personal attributes that make him a good manager in the White Sox Minor League system, a position he will now hold for Class A Advanced Winston-Salem, the team announced Monday.The 11-time Gold Glove Award winner at shortstop and first-time candidate for the
CHICAGO -- Omar Vizquel was asked to describe personal attributes that make him a good manager in the White Sox Minor League system, a position he will now hold for Class A Advanced Winston-Salem, the team announced Monday.
The 11-time Gold Glove Award winner at shortstop and first-time candidate for the National Baseball Hall of Fame responded with one important word.
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"Communication," said Vizquel during a conference call on Monday. "That's No. 1 for me: if you know how to communicate with your players. Let them know what you want from them and speak clearly. Tell them the truth.
"Let them know right away what you want to accomplish with these guys. It makes their job easier and you have more confidence with everybody."
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Vizquel, who had a successful run as player with the White Sox from 2010-11, takes over the Dash after a strong 2017 managerial stint by Willie Harris. The job serves a crucial function for the organization's rebuild, with outfielder Luis Robert (Chicago's No. 3 prospect, per MLBPipeline.com), outfielder Blake Rutherford (No. 4), third baseman Jake Burger (No. 10), outfielder Micker Adolfo (No. 14), first baseman Gavin Sheets (No. 15) and outfielder Alex Call (No. 26) all figuring to start the season with Winston-Salem.
For the past four seasons (2014-17), Vizquel served as the Tigers' first-base, infield and baserunning coach. Vizquel, 50, knew managing was in his future after playing 2,968 games over 24 Major League seasons with Seattle (1989-93), Cleveland (1994-2004), San Francisco (2005-08), Texas (2009), the White Sox and Toronto (2012).
After a stint managing Team Venezuela in the 2017 World Baseball Classic, Vizquel takes on a younger challenge in shaping the White Sox future.
"This is a great opportunity for me because I'm going to start working with a bunch of young guys that are looking for a journey to get to the big leagues," Vizquel said. "It's a pleasure to work with a lot of prospects. The White Sox have a great farm system right now, one of the strongest because of all the trades they've made in the last couple of years. These guys are ready to be a contending in the big leagues not too far away.
"Obviously it's like the little school you have to go through. I'm glad to speak out to some of these guys, because I know it's hard for them sometimes to understand how the process builds up and how it goes. But a guy that has been there and done that for a long time, he can be a very positive thing for them getting to higher levels."
Scott Merkin has covered the White Sox for MLB.com since 2003. Read his blog, Merk's Works, follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin, on Facebook and listen to his podcast.