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John Thomas Kotchman (born August 14, 1954) is an American professional baseball scout, coach and minor league manager. In 2019 he will spend his sixth consecutive season as manager of the Gulf Coast Red Sox, Rookie-level affiliate of the Boston Red Sox of Major League Baseball.[1] The 2019 season also marks Kotchman's 40th as a minor league manager.

Tom Kotchman
Boston Red Sox
Manager, Scout
Born: (1954-08-14) August 14, 1954 (age 64)
Grafton, North Dakota
Bats: Right Throws: Right

In 2008, Kotchman was one of the inaugural inductees into the Professional Baseball Scouts Hall of Fame.[2] He was the 2017 winner of Baseball America's Tony Gwynn Award for "lasting contributions to baseball."[3]

Contents

Early baseball careerEdit

Kotchman attended high school in Seminole, Florida, and played baseball at Chipola Junior College in Florida and Georgia Southern University. He was signed by the Cincinnati Reds in 1977 and played two seasons (1977–78) in their farm system at the Class A level. A third baseman, he threw and batted right-handed, stood 6 feet 1 inch (1.85 m) tall and weighed 180 pounds (82 kg).

He began his managerial career in 1979 at age 24 with the Auburn Redstars in the Short-Season Class A New York–Penn League. The Auburn franchise lacked a Player Development Contract and was designated a "co-op" team, receiving its players on loan from multiple Major League organizations. After one season there, Kotchman became manager of teams affiliated with MLB organizations. He spent 1980–81 in the Detroit Tigers' system, as skipper of the Bristol Tigers of the Rookie-level Appalachian League in 1980, then the Macon Peaches of the full-season Class A South Atlantic League in 1981. He then spent 1982–83 as pilot of the Red Sox' Class A Florida State League franchise, the Winter Haven Red Sox. At Winter Haven, he was the first manager in the professional baseball career of eventual 354-game winner and seven-time Cy Young Award recipient Roger Clemens.

Almost three decades with AngelsEdit

In 1984, he joined the player development system of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim (then the California Angels), beginning an association that would last through 2012.

From 1984–86, he was manager of the Angels' Class A California League farm clubs, the Redwood Pioneers, based in Rohnert Park, California, and the Palm Springs Angels. Success there led to a promotion to the Angels' Triple-A Edmonton Trappers affiliate in the Pacific Coast League, where he also spent three seasons (1987–89).

In 1990, Kotchman assumed a role he would play for 23 seasons, as both a Florida-based area scout and manager of the Angels' Short-Season Class A or Rookie-level teams in the Northwest League and the Pioneer League. He skippered the Boise Hawks of the NWL for 11 seasons (1990–2000), during which time the Hawks never finished lower than second place and never compiled a losing record. From 2001–12, he managed in the Pioneer League with the Provo Angels (2001–04) and the Orem Owlz (2005–12). As a scout, Kotchman signed such future Angels as Howie Kendrick, Jeff Mathis, Scot Shields and Bobby Wilson.[4]

In late October 2012, it was reported that Kotchman and the Angels had severed their longtime relationship,[5] when he was asked to concentrate solely on scouting.[6]

Return to Red Sox' systemEdit

The December 11, 2012, edition of Baseball America reported that Kotchman had decided to rejoin the Red Sox organization for 2013 as a Florida area scout. The Red Sox soon announced that Kotchman would also serve as a coach for the 2013 Rookie-level Gulf Coast Red Sox.[7]

On December 18, 2013, the Red Sox promoted Kotchman to manager of the 2014 GCL Red Sox,[8] his 35th year as a skipper in minor league baseball. His club won the 2014 Gulf Coast League championship,[9] the ninth league title Kotchman had won since 1990. Additionally, he was honored as Manager of the Year and included in the Gulf Coast League Postseason All-Stars team.[10] He was reappointed skipper of the GCL Red Sox on January 8, 2015,[11] and promoted to Florida cross-checker five days later.[12] The 2015 GCL Red Sox won 41 of 58 regular-season games[13] then repeated as league champions by sweeping three playoff games.[14]

Through 2018 and 39 total seasons, Kotchman had compiled a career regular season managerial record of 1,874 victories and 1,558 defeats, a winning percentage of .546, with ten league championships.[15]

Personal lifeEdit

He is the father of former Major League first basemen Casey Kotchman and his daughter Christal Kotchman was on the College of Charleston softball team.[16]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ MLB.com, Red Sox Set Minor League, Player Development Staff. (10 January 2019)
  2. ^ Dragseth, PJ (2009). Eye for Talent: Interviews with Veteran Baseball Scouts. McFarland Publishing. p. 17. ISBN 978-0-7864-4361-1.
  3. ^ Baseball America, 2018-11-29
  4. ^ Eddy, Matt, "Angels' Winning Ways Begin With Kotchman." Baseball America, 2010.01.09
  5. ^ Halos Heaven.com
  6. ^ Los Angeles Times
  7. ^ Boston Red Sox official website
  8. ^ Boston Red Sox official website
  9. ^ MiLB.com
  10. ^ MiLB.com – GCL announces postseason All-Stars : Veteran skipper Kotchman honored as Manager of the Year
  11. ^ The Boston Herald, 2015.01.08
  12. ^ The Boston Herald, 2015.01.14
  13. ^ 2015 standings from MiILB.com
  14. ^ Dykstra, Sam. "Red Sox win second straight GCL title". MiLB.com. Retrieved September 3, 2015.
  15. ^ Article | Pioneer League News
  16. ^ https://www.si.com/mlb/2014/11/11/Tom-Kotchman-Red-Sox-Scout-Minor-League-Manager

External linksEdit

Preceded by
Winston Llenas
Edmonton Trappers manager
1987–1989
Succeeded by
Mako Oliveras
Preceded by
Franchise created
Orem Owlz manager
2001–2012
Team known as Provo Angels, 2001–2004
Succeeded by
Bill Richardson
Preceded by
Darren Fenster
Gulf Coast Red Sox manager
2014–
Succeeded by
Incumbent