A few weeks ago, a player who had been featured in our Top 100 Prospects series reached out to provide a photo (DSL players are extremely hard to illustrate for these profiles). But the player, Frander Veras, couldn’t reach out directly, for reasons including a very straightforward one: the Spanish-English language barrier.
So he got in touch with White Sox minor league education coordinator Erin Santana (who, as it turns out, has been doing a little PR for South Side Sox by letting her students know when they’ve been featured by us) — and from that seed, this podcast grew.
Erin was gracious enough to give us a lot of time, and hopefully that comes from a place of mutual respect and even admiration — we were adding diacritics to Spanish names before MLB or Baseball-Reference, after all! On our end, it’s easy to see what a godsend Erin has been to our Latin players.
In our wide-ranging conversation, we hit on a lot of core stuff about the White Sox player education system, but stretched far beyond. Please do yourself a favor, and give this one a listen!
In what we hope is the first of many talks, the podcast touches on:
- As a granddaughter of a college pitcher, was Erin destined to work in baseball?
- How she came to the White Sox in the first place, after growing up rooting for the other Sox
- The importance of a huge advocate like director of player development Chris Getz being so closely involved
- Being so committed to making sure her player-students succeed that doors get pounded on to make sure tests aren’t missed
- Yes, it’s true, “son” Harvin Mendoza made her tear up
- Surprise student Michael Kopech sitting in on classes and helping to kick-start a sort of study-buddy system
- What responsibility do native English-speaking personnel (teammates, executives, media) have to aspiring bilingual players?
- And of course, an obligatory Billy Russo question
Listen below, on our built-in Megaphone player:
Thanks again to Erin for her generosity! In the comments below, feel free to suggest future questions or topics you’d like to hear about when we speak with Erin again.