SATURDAY WRAP-UP

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Nice variety of seminars to close out day two of SoxFest.  First up, From the Draft to the Major Leagues w/Assistant GM Rick Hahn, Minor League Field Coordinator Nick Capra, Director of Amateur Scouting Doug Laumann and Director of Player Development Buddy Bell.  Some interesting tidbits:

-HAHN ON TRADES THIS OFFSEASON: “We feel like we replensihed the next level of players coming to Chicago.”

-MORE HAHN: “We don’t worry about player or prospect ratings.  Our job is to get our players to Chicago.”

-HAHN, PART 3: We promote players if we feel like they can help at the next level and if they’ve earned it, regardless of pedigree.”

-BELL: “The best day of our year is when all of our draft picks sign.  And then our job is to slow everything down for them.”

-LAUMANN ON PLAYERS WHO USE FAKE NAMES/AGES: “It’s prevalant, but getting better. Major League Baseball is doing a great job of cleaning it up.”

-CAPRA ON WHITE SOX PROSPECTS:

> Jordan Danks: “If he works out a few things, we’ll have a special player there.”

> Josh Phegley: “Been unlucky with injuries, but he’s a take-charge guy.”

> Brandon Short: “Doesn’t stand out athletically, just gets the job done. He’s a sleeper.”

> Trayce Thompson: “Really excited about him. Five-tool guy, has a chance to be a great major-league player.”

> 2011 1st round pick Keenyn Walker: “Still getting acclimated to our program, but we see good things. You just can’t pass up that kind of talent.”

-BELL ON 2010 1st-round pick JARED MITCHELL: “I would take him in the draft every year. He’s doing some swing changes.  When it clicks, he’s going to be an All-Star. His ceiling is so high.”

***

BATTER’S BOX seminar w/Hawk, Adam Dunn, Brent Lillibridge and hitting coach Jeff Manto. Always interesting to hear players talk about situational hitting. Too much to type, but suffice it to say there’s quite a thought process at the plate – approach on certain counts, attacking the pitcher’s weaknesses and exploiting tendencies…good stuff.  So maybe “Don’t think, just hit” is a bit of a misnomer.  Other highlights:

DUNN ON BEING BOOED: “It’s happened before (in Cincinnati).  It’s hard, but you have to give them a reason to cheer. I feel like I can handle it.”

Photo: Ron Vesely

-AND ON THE STRUGGLES OF SWITCHING LEAGUES: “None. It’s still baseball.”

-LILLIBRIDGE ON HIS APPROACH TO HITTING: “When Manny (Ramirez) was here, it was great to pick his brain because he’s an amazing hitter.  He said he looks for a spot, not a pitch.  Doesn’t matter if you watch two strikes go by, wait for your spot.”

-AND ON HITTING IN COLD WEATHER: “Don’t try to do too much. It’s not good to add to your baseball swing. You try to swing harder to hit it out, you end up with a lot of popouts to 2B. I did enough of that in the past, so I’m not doing that again.”

-MANTO: “With a guy like Adam or any great hitter, when they struggle, as a hitting coach, there’s not really a ‘Hey, guess what I found!” moment where you just give him the answer. He just needs to find his comfort zone again and play ball.”

Adam sounded relaxed and ready for the season…

***

Final SoxFest seminar of the day: WHITE SOX MARKETING w/Senior VP of Sales/Marketing Brooks Boyer, Senior Director of Community Relations Christine O’Reilly, Director of Ticket Operations Mike Mazza and Director of Ticket Sales Tom Sheridan. A few points of note:

-BROOKS: “Our goal for every fan is to have them say when they leave, ‘Wow, what a great time!’ We want to make all 81 home games an event.

-AND ON DYNAMIC PRICING: “Prices may go down 30 percent for certain seats for some games. Best to get tickets early.”

-AND ON THE BULLS/WHITE SOX TRAINING ACADEMY IN LISLE: “There’s nothing better than teaching kids how to play the game the right way in a White Sox uniform.”

-CHRISTINE ON THE WHITE SOX VOLUNTEER CORPS WINNING THE COMMISSIONER’S AWARD FOR PHILANTHROPIC EXCELLENCE, AND COMMISSION SELIG PRESENTING THE AWARD AT SOXFEST: ” So cool! I think it’s the first time a sitting Commissioner has attended a SoxFest, so it was very exciting.”

Thank you to all the fans who shared their feedback about SoxFest, game enhancements, promotions, etc.  And on that note – we’re sending a SoxFest survey out on Monday to all attendees.  Do know we take that feedback very seriously and look forward to hearing from you.  On Monday, you can visit www.whitesox.com/survey to share your thoughts.

Photo: Ron Vesely

With tired feet, another festive Saturday SoxFest in the books. Keep following along on www.whitesox.com/soxfest, via @whitesox on Twitter and on the official Sox Facebook page (oh, and here, too!). Hope you’ve enjoyed the updates, videos and prizes so far. To those attending tonight’s Family Party at SoxFest – enjoy! More fun to come tomorrow…

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