Chicago Cubs’ Owner and Chairman Tom Ricketts nailed it when he hired Theo Epstein to be the organization’s new President of Baseball Operations. Epstein nailed it when he hired Jed Hoyer to be the organization’s new General Manager, and nailed it again when he hired Jason McLeod to be the organization’s new Scouting and Development Chief.
Might they all have nailed it again by tabbing a new Director of Professional Scouting? Indeed, so says Bruce Levine.
The Chicago Cubs have hired another front office executive, adding Joe Bohringer as director of pro scouting, according to a major league source.
Bohringer, who has 21 years of major league baseball experience, had been working for the Arizona Diamondbacks since 2006 as a major league scout ….
Bohringer, a DeKalb, Ill. resident, uses the same methods as the people who he’ll be working for, employing statistical analytics as well as practical scouting when evaluating players. Under Bohringer’s direction, Cubs scouts will likely be told to use video recording of players as an added tool to evaluate Cubs players.
According to numerous sources, Bohringer also had a chance to stay in Arizona or to go with new Los Angeles Angels GM Jerry Dipoto, who was previously vice president of player personnel with the Diamondbacks.
Bohringer is a widely-respected scout, combining traditional visual scouting with advanced statistical modeling and video use.
In a sign of just how behind the times the Cubs’ former front office had become, Bohringer will be taking his “Director of Professional Scouting” title from Director of Scouting Tim Wilken, who previously held the title in a dual role. But, in a twist, it turns out that Wilken wasn’t really doing much in the way of running the Cubs’ professional scouting. Instead, that duty actually fell to assistant GM Randy Bush. So, the Cubs had a Director of Professional Scouting, but he was more focused on the amateur side, and they had a solitary assistant GM doing professional scouting, in addition to his theoretically wide-ranging duties as assistant GM (again, singular assistant GM).
The upside of all of that is that at least Wilken isn’t getting yet another demotion, though it’s possible that Randy Bush’s duties were just reduced. But, that might be a good thing – by my count, in this area, the Cubs now have six super qualified, smart dudes (Epstein, Hoyer, McLeod, Wilken, Bohringer, Bush) doing what was previously done by three (Jim Hendry, Randy Bush, Tim Wilken).
If you’re looking for the Theo/Boston connection, I’d guess it would be somewhere in Bohringer’s education (MIT) and time in Arizona, where he served under Josh Byrnes, who was an assistant under Epstein in Boston. I’m sure there’s plenty of discussion among that group of friends/former colleagues, and Bohringer’s name probably came up a number of times.
For those looking for a further endorsement, baseball writer Jonah Keri – who is awesome – says, “Joe is GREAT. Cubs fans should be thrilled.”
When it comes to a front office hire in the new regime, why am I not surprised that the Cubs just nailed it again?