(CBS) Shortly after the 2015 MLB amateur draft, then-assistant White Sox scouting director Nick Hostetler sat down for a conversation with general manager Rick Hahn. While amid an eventual 76-86 season and with a disappointing 2016 season in which they tried to contend still to come, they were already mapping out an overhaul for the entire baseball operations department.
“I thought we needed to a better job of communicating, we needed to do a better job of using more of our analytics, tying that into our scouting aspect and getting the full picture of who the player is,” Hostetler said in an interview last week with Dan Bernstein on 670 The Score. “I felt those were two things that we needed to tackle and do it rather quickly. We made sure that right off the start, we did that in 2016.”
In August 2015, Hostetler was promoted to be the White Sox’s director of amateur scouting. Now a year-and-a-half later, Hostetler is in the spotlight as the White Sox have started their rebuild in earnest. In December, Chicago traded ace left-hander Chris Sale to Boston in a four-prospect package that was highlighted by second baseman Yoan Moncada, considered the top prospect in the sport by many. A few days later, the White Sox traded outfielder Adam Eaton to the Nationals for three pitching prospects, headlined by right-hander Lucas Giolito, a top-five prospect according to most outlets.
It’s Hostetler’s job now to oversee the development of those youngsters, and it’s an opportunity he’s been waiting for. He also lauded the team’s 2016 draft, which was marked by taking catcher Zack Collins and right-hander Zack Burdi in the first round.
“Our amateur scouting staff this past year, I couldn’t have been more happy with the effort they put in but the open-mindedness that they went into it with,” Hostetler said. “And I think this draft showed. I’m very proud of this draft, and I know this staff is as well.”
You can hear Hostetler’s full interview on the Boers and Bernstein audio page here, under Dec. 30, Hour 3.