Next week’s hitters minicamp will afford White Sox prospects and the franchise’s player development staff a chance to get accustomed to each other.
Newly acquired prospect Yoan Moncada and 2016 first-round pick Zack Collins are among the 15 White Sox minor leaguers set to attend the three-day camp, which begins Monday at Camelback Ranch in Glendale, Ariz.
New player development director Chris Getz and first-year hitting coordinator Mike Gellinger will facilitate the event along with White Sox hitting coach Todd Steverson. Getz said he’s eager to get a wide-ranging group of players together roughly 5.5 weeks before the team’s first full-squad spring training workout (Feb. 18).
“There’s a lot of benefit,” Getz said. “Just to get acquainted.
“It’s good to get them all together.”
The session gives the White Sox their first close look at Moncada, who MLB.com has rated as the No. 1 overall prospect in baseball. The infielder was acquired from the Boston Red Sox last month as part of a four-player package in exchange for Chris Sale.
“It’ll be nice to have him out there,” Getz said. “He can hit. He has power. The upside is impressive.”
Also scheduled to attend the camp are Alex Call and Jameson Fisher, the team’s third- and fourth-round picks in 2016. Kevan Smith, Jason Coates and Charlie Tilson are also set to appear. Tilson, who had surgery last August after he tore his left hamstring, has made enough progress in his road back to health to participate.
“He’s had fairly positive signs in his rehab,” Getz said. “He’s trending in the right direction.”
The same goes for third baseman Matt Davidson, who has worked his way back after he broke a bone in his foot last June.
Though spring training is right around the corner, Getz said January is normally the time when hitters “establish their solid habits.”
Ideally, the White Sox would love for a group of their prospects to form a bond in the minors and learn how to win together before they reach the majors. Getz spent the past two seasons in Kansas City and also played alongside a core that developed together and later helped the Royals reach the World Series in 2014 and 2015, winning the latter. He’s aware of the benefit of that chemistry but knows it doesn’t always work that way.
“We’ve got some guys a little further down the line,” Getz said. “It’s definitely valuable to get them to grow up together. But at the same time, we have to remember they’re individuals at different stages and on different paces.”
A member of the organization since he was a minor leaguer, Gellinger is in a different role, taking over as the hitting coordinator for Vance Law, who moves to infield coordinator.
“It’ll be good for him to get together with the other coaches,” Getz said.