Hostetler prepared for first Draft in charge

Director of amateur scouting says White Sox focused on taking best player at pick No. 10

CHICAGO -- Nick Hostetler has been on the road so long in preparation for the 2016 Draft that his wife, Nicole, sold their old house, bought a new one, closed on it and moved with their three kids.

When Hostetler returned to his home state of Ohio, he had to text his wife for the new address. All of this also means that the White Sox director of amateur scouting is prepared and ready for his first Draft in charge, with the team making important selections at pick Nos. 10, 26 and 49 on the first day.

On June 9, MLB Network and MLB.com will have live coverage of the Draft's first night, covering the first 77 picks, or through Round 2, starting at 7 p.m. ET. MLB.com will provide live pick-by-pick coverage of Rounds 3-10 on June 10, starting at 1 p.m. ET. Then, rounds 11-40 can be heard live on MLB.com on June 11, beginning at noon ET.

2016 Draft info

Being in charge feels different for Hostetler, even though he handled the 2015 Draft after the first round. But it's far from a one-man show.

"Regardless of whose name is on top and leading, it's a total group effort," Hostetler said. "These guys, I can't tell you how great our staff has been. That starts from Kenny [Williams] and Rick [Hahn] and Buddy [Bell] and Jeremy [Haber] down through our area scouts. Everybody is pulling from the same rope. I'm excited for White Sox fans to see the benefits of everybody working collectively together and what happens on June 9.

"I kind of chuckled: Yeah, I did a lot last year the way that things were delegated, but at the same time, I didn't do all this. Once you are held in standing of what's happening throughout the entire department, from bottom to top, it takes on a whole new pressure, a whole new stress level."

Hostetler came to Chicago this past weekend for organizational Draft meetings. The White Sox remain focused on taking the best player at No. 10. So if a catcher is available, a position where Chicago doesn't have a clear-cut player in waiting in its system, but a left-handed pitcher stands as the best player, even with the White Sox having plenty of left-handed pitching talent, the club would still take the pitcher.

"Best player, a lot of people think it means the best talent, but there's a lot that goes into it," Hostetler said. "Makeup, the signability, what it gives us -- flexibility -- throughout the rest of the Draft. There are a lot of parts. When we say best player, we are meaning best fit for the organization at that point, regardless of position.

"We've already started looking, 'If we take this guy here, we can take this guy here.' There's a lot of different jockeying that goes on with that pick at 26, because it did give us an extra $2 million. I do think, at that point, it gives us the ability to be creative."

There comes a point when a scout can watch a player almost too much, seeing things that might not be there in either direction. Hostetler has reached that point, which is a good sign of preparedness.

"I'm ready for this Draft to be here -- our staff is, my wife is, our kids are, my stomach is," Hostetler said. "There's also a different sense of pride when it's over. They know that this was your thumbprint."

Scott Merkin has covered the White Sox for MLB.com since 2003. Read his blog, Merk's Works, follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin, on Facebook and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.