Run Prevention and Cubs' Coordinator of Advanced Scouting, Tommy Hottovy

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Run Prevention and Cubs’ Coordinator of Advanced Scouting, Tommy Hottovy

Chicago Cubs

wrigley outfieldTommy Hottovy was drafted in the fourth round of the 2004 draft by Theo Epstein and the Boston Red Sox. He played 10 professional seasons of baseball, but compiled only 13.1 MLB innings before his career ended in 2013.

Still, he was a huge part of the Cubs success over the past year, and looks to be the same in 2016, as well.

After taking a year off in 2014*, Hottovy was once again hired by Theo Epstein, only this time it was with the Chicago Cubs’ front office. Since December 2014, Hottovy has held an extremely important, though relatively low profile, job as the Cubs’ Coordinator of Advanced Scouting (together with Nate Halm). On the merit of the position alone, we’d be plenty interested in what he has to say, but it is his area of focus (Run Prevention) that really draws us in.

Luckily, at FanGraphs, David Laurila conducted an interview with Hottovy earlier this offseason, and introduced us to the world of run prevention and advanced scouting.

Hottovy discusses a bunch of different topics throughout the piece, and I encourage you to check it out. One of the immediately interesting bits, though, was his ability to speak three (non-literal) languages in his new role. As an advanced scout for the Cubs, Hottovy has to be well-schooled on advanced analytics and sabermetrics, but must be able to translate that information to the coaches and answer the questions of the players. Building the trust of the people from all three worlds, Hottovy believes, is hugely important.

We’ve heard Joe Maddon talk about this very topic, in the past, but it appears that is not entirely a coincidence. As reported in the article, the hiring of Joe Maddon was a big part of the reason the Cubs brought Hottovy on board. The implication is that Maddon’s ability and desire to synthesis advanced statistics into everyday baseball language was something Hottovy believed he could assist with, as a former player, but also a student of the game.

The article is definitely worth your time, as Hottovy discusses his roles and responsibilities like breaking down hitters, game planning and sequencing, defensive positioning and much more. We’ve heard from advanced scouts before, but Hottovy’s focus is much more driven by data and video, which creates a refreshing take on the subject. Check it out.

*(He was actually in Spring Training with the Cubs that year, but blew out his shoulder, effectively ending his career.)


Author: Michael Cerami

Michael Cerami is the butler to a wealthy werewolf off the coast of Wales and a writer at Bleacher Nation. You can find him on Twitter at @Michael_Cerami