Getz: Development staff up to task of rebuild

Sox farm director gained firsthand experience building champion from ground up in KC

Getz: Development staff up to task of rebuild

CHICAGO -- In Chris Getz's first year as the White Sox director of player development, the team's one-time second baseman gets to oversee the development of arguably the most important rebuild in franchise history.

No pressure there, at least nothing greater than Getz's already high expectations.

"Certainly the landscape of the organization from top to bottom has changed," the 33-year-old Getz told during an interview at the recently completed Winter Meetings. "From a Minor League perspective, we've added a lot of quality, high-caliber type players. As a farm director, certainly it's exciting.

"Our organization is excited with the direction that we've taken. It's a direction that is different than what we've done here in a while. So, I look forward to getting to know these players. Hopefully these players get comfortable quickly, and we get them to the big leagues and have them reach the ceiling which we've identified."

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Getz certainly won't be solely responsible for the development of infielder Yoan Moncada --'s No. 1 overall prospect -- outfielder Luis Alexander Basabe and pitchers Michael Kopech (No. 30 overall), Lucas Giolito (No. 3 overall), Reynaldo Lopez (No. 38 overall), Dane Dunning and Victor Diaz, who were acquired in deals for ace Chris Sale and right fielder Adam Eaton, not to mention the prospects already in-house. With All-Star left-hander Jose Quintana, third baseman Todd Frazier and closer David Robertson also available, that prospect haul could grow.

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There's no question Getz is the sharp baseball mind the White Sox wanted for this particular position. But as manager Rick Renteria astutely pointed out regarding Major League player development, it takes an entire group of Minor League managers, coaches and instructors to get these players big league ready.

"You get to know the individual, and everyone is different," Getz said. "Our scouts have identified the ceilings of these players, and it's our job to exhaust every avenue to get those players to reach those ceilings. We've got a lot of experience in our player development system.

"I wouldn't say they've dealt with some of the caliber of guys that we have. But man, we've got years and years of experience. We will approach it head on. I've talked to some guys, some staff in our system, and they are really excited to meet these guys and get going in Spring Training."

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Having been a part of the Kansas City Royals both as a player and in the front office, Getz had a first-hand look as to how a successful rebuild works: Bring together the core homegrown group (Mike Moustakas, Salvador Perez, Eric Hosmer and Alex Gordon) make key additions (Lorenzo Cain, Alcides Escobar and Wade Davis, to name a few), let the group learn and even lose together and then hopefully watch it grow into an American League champion (2014) and World Series champion ('15).

That process stands at its most formative stages for the White Sox. And Getz has returned to be a part of the growth.

"What I witnessed, that core group coming through Kansas City, they went through the growing pains, they truly did. They learned from that," Getz said. "It brought them close together. It created almost a fearlessness.

"So when they started improving their skills at the Major League level and they came together, you witnessed something that was very special. But the earlier you can get them together, the better for the long term health of the organization."

Scott Merkin has covered the White Sox for since 2003. Read his blog, Merk's Works, follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin, on Facebook and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.