The Chicago Cubs vs. Kansas City Royals series last week, Aug. 6-8, brought a former Park Hill South legend back to town.
Tommy Hottovy, a 2000 PHS graduate, was in town with the Cubs, where he is the coordinator of advance scouting. His job is a mix of old-school scouting, while mixing in technology that has changed the game. Analytics is part of it and he talked about some of that during an interview with 810 Sports prior to the start of Wednesday’s series finale.
“It is just another form of information that pairs with 40 years or so of knowledge to make better decisions,” said Hottovy, who played in the big league with the Red Sox in 2011 and the Royals in 2012. “It is pretty cool. It is helping guys get better and improve. There is pretty amazing work out there.”
A finance major at Wichita State, Hottovy would work as an analyst for a financial company during the offseason when he was playing. After injuring his shoulder in 2014 while pitching with the Cubs, he ended his playing career and took a front office job with the team.
His main job is run prevention and the success paid off in 2016 when the Cubs won the World Series. Hottovy mixes what he sees with video and technology that helps determine things such as spin rates, hard-hit contact rate and exit velocity.
In charge of ‘run prevention,’ Hottovy helps align the defense when a batter comes to the plate.
Hottovy, the first all-state baseball player at Park Hill South, attended Wichita State and was a fourth-round draft pick by the Red Sox. His MLB career was 17 games that spanned 13 1/3 innings and didn’t record a win or loss in the two stints.
“I grew up here and it is fun to see what the Royals have done in my lifetime,” he said. “It was fun to watch. I remember watching the best of the best in the late 1980s and early 1990s and I got to play with a lot of the guys on the 2015 World Series championship.”
His teammates on the 2012 Royals include current Royals Salvador Perez, Alcides Escboar, Alex Gordon and Danny Duffy. The other regulars on that team were Eric Hosmer, Chris Getz, Mike Moustakas, Jarrod Dyson, Lorenzo Cain, Jeff Francoeur and Billy Butler. Jonathan Broxton, Greg Holland, Kelvin Herrera and Aaron Crow were some of the notable bullpen guys that Hottovy pitched with.