Thome excited about White Sox youth movement

Thome excited about White Sox youth movement
December 22, 2013, 2:45 pm
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LISLE — He’s excited about where the White Sox are headed and Jim Thome wants to tell as many fans as possible.

The former slugger would love for some of his former teammates to help spread the word, too.

Thome, a special assistant to White Sox general manager Rick Hahn, spent Sunday morning at a hitting clinic at the Bulls/Sox Academy working with young hitters on their skills. But he also found time to work in a pitch for the 2014 White Sox as well.

Thome is genuinely eager about the team’s direction as Hahn has continued to reshape the roster with the addition of three young position players over the past two months.

“Rick and our organization, Jerry (Reinsdorf) and Kenny (Williams), they’re all doing a fine job of getting our organization back to the level that everybody knows it will get to,” Thome said. “They’ve got the right people in place and we’ve got some really good young players coming up and it’s exciting. … It’s a fun time to be a part of White Sox baseball and to get out in the community and promote that. It’s a no-brainer.”

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The White Sox have already received quite a bit of positive press on a national level for some of their recent moves as both CBSSports.com and ESPN.com have singled Hahn out for his shrewd moves.

Hahn has spent the offseason addressing a long list of needs as the White Sox try to bounce back from last season’s 99-loss campaign. He has added Avisail Garcia, Jose Abreu, Adam Eaton and Matt Davidson in an effort to infuse youth into the team’s roster.

Thome likes the direction and has voiced his opinion in meetings with members of the front office. Even though he’s new to this side of the game, Thome has already grasped an important concept --- his opinion is valued and he’s not just there as a figurehead.

“It’s important to let people know, playing over 20-something years, your thoughts and what you value in the game,” Thome said. “With our young players, we’re in perfect line to get everything where we want it go.”

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Thome advised a large group of young players on Sunday. He said he enjoyed instructing the group of 7-to-14 year olds on hitting and also used his platform to talk about the 2014 White Sox.

He hopes other former teammates will do the same.

“I have a youngster at home who wants to hit balls in our house every day so this is easy for me,” Thome said. “It’s great. It’s fun to give back. Having ex-(White Sox) players get back in the community and having people think about White Sox baseball, I think it’s an exciting time.”