The White Sox have had some excitement in the minor leagues and the latest comes from the Class-A Winston-Salem Dash as Omar Vizquel was named Manager of the Year in the Carolina League.
This announcement comes on the heels of the White Sox Class-A Dash ending the season with a .609 win percentage with a record of 84-54. Vizquel took over the helm this season. The announcement was made by the Dash on their MILB website.
Prior to his time as the Skipper of the Dash, he was the first-base coach for the Detroit Tigers where he was highly respected and appreciated. He was let go when the Tigers switched managers this season.
As the manager of the Dash, Vizquel gets to work with the youngest up-and-coming talent in the ChiSox organization. And, he sees why there is so much excitement about the Sox and their future talent.
Vizquel was also featured in an article in the Daily Herald by Scot Gregor, who quoted Vizquel talking about the future of the White Sox:
"“I had a lot of high expectations for the team because we had a lot of top prospects in the organization. It was interesting because sometimes you don’t know what to expect from these guys, but as soon as you see them go on the field, you see what kind of talent they have.”"
Vizquel, an incredibly talented shortstop in his day, knows talent when he sees it. He has coached some of the most talented players in the MLB, including players like Miguel Cabrera, Justin Upton, and Justin Verlander. He also has proven himself as one of the most awarded shortstops in the history of the game, winning 11 Gold Glove awards in his 24 years in the infield.
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He spent the majority of his career with the Cleveland Indians, but he did spend two of his later years with the White Sox. During the 2010 and 2011 seasons, Vizquel played 166 games with the ChiSox where he hit a combined .268/.324/.323. In those two seasons, he played mostly third base, with some time at second and short. He also occasionally was the DH. Even in his 40s, he rarely made any mistakes on defense, recording only four errors in his two seasons. Vizquel knows the game.
Vizquel shared his impressions of young prospects with Gregor, especially when talking about draft pick Nick Madrigal. Vizquel said about him:
"“What’s great is his mindset. He has good ability; he has very quick hands; he can turn some good double plays and get to a lot of balls … He’s thinking ahead of the game; he’s always talking to pitchers about different situations. You don’t see that in young kids very often, and that’s what I really like about this guy.”"
The kids on the Dash are fortunate that they get to learn from such a compelling figure in modern baseball. His impact on players like Madrigal, Luis Robert, and Dylan Cease will only help the White Sox in the future as they learn from a 24-year veteran. He’s not just any veteran – a three-time All-Star who stands only 5’9, but is actually larger than life.