CHICAGO -- Aaron Rowand is bringing his infectious energy and spirit back to the Chicago White Sox, this time as the organization's minor league outfield and baserunning instructor.
Rowand, 38, played all or part of five seasons with the White Sox, capping his tenure on the South Side with the club’s 2005 World Series championship. He batted .283 in a White Sox uniform with 54 home runs and 211 RBIs.
An instructor spot opened in the White Sox’s system when Doug Sisson left the organization after last season.
Rowand freely admits he didn’t have blazing speed, but he made it work in both the outfield and the bases. Being a smart player in both areas of the game will be at the core of what he teaches.
“When it comes down to just sheer passion and desire to try to win baseball games, that's when you see guys going first to third or second to home, or running in a guy's face, trying to take an extra base,” said Rowand, who credited former White Sox coach Gary Pettis for getting the most out of him. “It's all about want, it's all about combining your desire and your knowledge and then your effort, and you'll become a good baserunner. That goes from Instructional League all the way up to the big leagues.”
Rowand will be an instructor in spring training, then work his way through each of the club’s minor league affiliates during the season, before spending a month in Arizona for the Instructional League. The part-time schedule fit into his role as a father and family man, with the possibility of adding more responsibilities in future years.
“Being able to do both and manage both, it was a perfect situation for me to be able to do both things that are what I enjoy most in life,” said Rowand, who also worked as an instructor in spring training before the 2015 season.
Rowand never lost his fondness for the White Sox’s organization, even after he was traded. After the White Sox’s World Series victory, Rowand was moved to the Philadelphia Phillies in a package deal for Jim Thome. He was an All-Star and a Gold Glove winner in 2007 with the Phillies before signing a lucrative free-agent deal with the San Francisco Giants before the 2008 season.
Over 11 major league seasons, Rowand batted .273 with a .330 on-base percentage and a .435 slugging percentage. He hit 136 home runs with 536 RBIs.