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Hostetler embracing new role beyond scouting

@scottmerkin
September 21, 2019

DETROIT -- There was a brief adjustment period for Nick Hostetler when he was promoted from the White Sox director of amateur scouting to a special assistant to general manager Rick Hahn back on July 24. “It’s been an adjustment from just the overall mechanics of scouting,” Hostetler told MLB.com

DETROIT -- There was a brief adjustment period for Nick Hostetler when he was promoted from the White Sox director of amateur scouting to a special assistant to general manager Rick Hahn back on July 24.

“It’s been an adjustment from just the overall mechanics of scouting,” Hostetler told MLB.com during a recent interview, marking his first comments about his new job. “[When] you are watching 17-, 18-, 19-year-olds, you are projecting.

"[When] you are watching big league talent, it’s more of what they are now -- trying to get information on what they are like in the clubhouse, trying to get what they are like off the field, stuff the analytics and numbers can’t tell Rick, [executive vice president] Kenny [Williams] and the rest of the front office.”

Hostetler has hit the ground running in this new job, traveling to 10 or 11 different ballparks. He joins Bill Scherrer and Dave Yoakum, fellow special assistants to Hahn, in this particular focus upon Major League player evaluations.

The move might have caught people off guard, coming during the season. But according to Hahn, it was talked about between the two for years.

“You try with everyone in the front office -- just as years ago, Kenny would have the conversations with me -- you try to talk about what’s next and where they want to go to and what’s the path to getting there, and how to develop their talent in a way that benefits them and benefits the club,” Hahn said. “It’s an opportunity for him individually to sort of expand his repertoire.

“Move him out of an obviously grinding difficult lifestyle being the director of amateur scouting into one with a little more stability. It’s good for him and going to help him continue to grow as a scout and as a baseball executive.

“From a club standpoint, it allows us to add another trusted evaluator to our Major League evaluations, which are going to become more and more important as we move into this latter stages of this rebuild."

In this new role, Hostetler also has more time to be around his wife, his two daughters, who are 14 and 12, and his son, who is 8.

“Knowing I’m going to have an offseason that I didn’t have in the past is exciting for me,” Hostetler said. “Like any job you get put in, my goal is to do the best possible job in the role I am in in that time. I was grateful for the opportunity [White Sox chairman] Jerry [Reinsdorf] and Rick gave me with this.

“I was a little nervous with the timing of it, just from how I would adjust, and these guys have been going all year. They have their schedules, and everything made out all year.

“I’m enjoying the change of scenery, the big league cities, and I feel very comfortable right now. I’m enjoying the other scouts of the other clubs I’m getting to meet and hang out with. A lot of guys I know from the past [have] done amateur stuff. Guys who have been GMs, scouting directors. All of that has been a lot of fun.”

Under Hostetler, the White Sox have selected catcher Zack Collins (2016), third baseman Jake Burger (2017), second baseman Nick Madrigal (2018) and first baseman Andrew Vaughn (2019) as their top pick in each respective Draft. Hostetler also ran the 2015 Draft after the first round.

Mike Shirley, who was one of Hostetler’s assistants, was named the new White Sox director of amateur scouting. A sense of excitement is present in Hostetler’s voice for what lies ahead, and a sense of pride also exists for what he has already accomplished.

“There’s a lot of guys we can point to I’m really excited to continue to watch grow,” said Hostetler, referring to his amateur scouting and Draft work. “I’m more happy and more proud of the people we were able to bring in and where the department was left when I moved into this role.”

“We feel really good about where the amateur scouting department is now under Mike,” Hahn said. “And we feel real good about improving our Major League evaluation and get another look at our Major League talent or potential Major League acquirees by adding Nick to that mix as well.”

Scott Merkin has covered the White Sox for MLB.com since 2003. Follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin and Facebook and listen to his podcast.