Inbox: Has White Sox Draft strategy evolved?

Director of amateur scouting Nick Hostetler answers questions from fans

October 16th, 2017

CHICAGO -- Nick Hostetler, the White Sox director of amateur scouting, took time from his busy 2018 MLB Draft preparation to serve as the White Sox Inbox guest. Here's Part 2 of Hostetler's answers; find Part I here.
How has the Draft thought process changed since you joined the organization?
-- Kevin M., Downers Grove, Ill., @KMcCar91

It's shown that we've shied away a little bit from the higher, volatile player and maybe went toward somebody that is a little bit less of a floor. But overall, it's still putting in the work and evaluating the players and crunching the numbers and using the data that we have to produce the best pick for us at that time.
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Would you like to see college players use wooden bats? If so, would that help better judge hitters?
-- John, Chicago, @JohnW1016

Yes and yes. Obviously one of the toughest things we do is evaluating a hitter because they are using a piece of equipment they will never use again at the pro level -- an aluminum bat. That is also why our staff thinks that the summer is so important for us to evaluate the Cape Cod League, the high school showcases where they use wood bats.
That way we do have a little feel of how they handle the wood. Even how pitchers pitch to wood bats, it's different. A lot of pitchers will throw outside to guys with aluminum bats because you can jam a kid with an aluminum bat and still get a hit. With a wood bat, they will saw them off.
I would love to see colleges go to it. Even if it might be something as small as 1 percent, it might limit your mistake rate 1 percent, it's worth it. I'm not sure we will ever see that, with the cost of wood. But I'd love to see it.
Explain a day in the life of being the head scouting director.
-- Andrew, @supersoxfan79

It can vary everything from jumping on airplanes and a couple of different cities in a day to 100 text messages and 15 to 20 phone calls a day. Or it could be a day where you are sitting in your office and going through data and watching video and doing research and background work from there. It's a wide range of days and actions in those days, but it's something that's really enjoyable.
Do you think will be a plus defender?
-- Bill, @BillVickers8

We've all thought that Timmy was going to continue to progress with his defense. Yeah, I think with his range and just continued ability to play and get more reps, it's going to continue to get better. I have no reason to think Tim can't be a plus defender.
Is the system depth currently in a position where the White Sox can keep and ? Or will they be used to acquire more depth?
-- Glen, Racine, Wisc., @GlenBarth

This is a better question for Mr. Rick Hahn to answer. I'll deal with the Draft and the players that we take, amateur-wise, but in regards to current Major League moves, we will let Mr. Hahn answer those.
When it comes to 40-man roster and the Rule 5 Draft, do the White Sox anticipate leaving slots open on the 40 for Rule 5 picks?
-- @SoxNet

Senior director of baseball operations Dan Fabian does a good job of scouring the Rule 5 Draft list and who is available. Rick and assistant general manager Jeremy Haber have always given themselves roster flexibility and there will always be some opportunities should we feel that those are the best players and that player fits our roster best to select in the Rule 5 Draft. They are always looking for ways to do that.