Chicago White Sox hope Paul Janish — their new director of player development — can bring a ‘very unique perspective’ to team

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Chris Getz had discussions in the past with Paul Janish pertaining to potential opportunities with the Chicago White Sox.

For years, Josh Barfield tried to hire Janish with the Arizona Diamondbacks.

“Now that we have come together, Josh (as assistant general manager) and I (as GM), we finally were able to bring Paul in to help us build a championship club,” Getz said during a video conference call Thursday.

The Sox hired Janish as the director of player development. The former big-league infielder spent the last six years at Rice.

“I really enjoyed my time at the college level but have always aspired to get back to the professional level in some capacity,” Janish said. “It’s hard for me to convey how much of an aligning of stars that this opportunity is for me, personally, and my family.”

Janish takes over the role previously held by Getz, who became the general manager on Aug. 31.

“The farm director position is a unique role that touches a lot of parts of the organization that I’m really excited about,” Janish said. “And having the opportunity to do it with Chris and Josh above me, having done the job in different capacities prior, is super appealing to me because it gives me the opportunity to plug into a situation where they’ve got a pretty good vision on what they want and me having the opportunity to learn from them and implement some of my own thoughts and ideas about how we can all collaborate in a productive way.”

Janish, 41, played parts of nine seasons with the Cincinnati Reds (2008-11), Atlanta Braves (2012-13) and Baltimore Orioles (2015-17), appearing in 473 games.

“I had the good fortune of, relative to the level, not being that good of a player, so I had to really pay attention to what was going on,” Janish said with a smile. “And 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.”

Getz said Janish’s understanding of what it takes to be a professional “is vital when you’re relating to both the players and staff.”

“He understands the journey that it takes as an amateur player to navigate the minor leagues and be successful at the major-league level,” Getz said.

After playing, Janish joined Rice as an assistant coach in August 2017. He served as associate head coach the last two seasons.

Getz said Janish’s path from playing to coaching at Rice to the Sox will provide “a very unique perspective.”

“The responsibility at college now — because of the recruiting, transfer portal, NIL, administrative tasks that are in front of you in that position — I think is going to transfer well to what the farm director responsibilities are,” Getz said.

Janish stressed the importance of communication throughout the organization.

“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.”

Hendriks named AL Comeback Player of Year

White Sox reliever Liam Hendriks on Thursday earned American League Comeback Player of the Year honors at the 2023 Players Choice Awards. Hendriks was recognized for his return after battling stage 4 non-Hodgkin lymphoma. Hendriks disclosed the diagnosis and began treatment in January. He announced he was cancer-free in April.

The Players Choice Awards are voted on by players from each league.


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