According to a release from the club’s media department, the Cubs have constructed a new player development leadership structure within their baseball operations department.
Matt Dorey, formerly Chicago’s director of amateur scouting, will serve as senior director of player development. 2020 will mark Dorey’s ninth year in the Cubs organization and 13th in professional baseball. Dorey previously coached at Washington State before entering the pro ball, PD side of the game.
Bobby Basham will be working with Dorey as director of player development. Formerly a pitcher in the Reds and Padres minor league ranks, Basham has worked in a variety of roles since gaining employ with the Cubs in 2012, including time spent as a major league scouting coordinator, assistant director of advance scouting and major league strategy, and assistant director of minor league operations. It stands to reason that Dorey and Basham will be combining to handle some of the tasks Jason McLeod vacated when the latter moved into a senior vice president of player personnel role this offseason following several years in Chicago’s player development area.
Other notable changes this morning include the naming of former big league Craig Breslow as the club’s new director of pitching–a title similar to the one the Orioles gave Chris Holt recently, as notes Joe Trezza of MLB.com (link). While Breslow’s Yale background would likely position him as the most intelligent person in many a room, the club’s new director of hitting, Justin Stone, cuts an impressive intellectual figure in his own right. Stone is the founder Elite Baseball Training in Chicago, a “technology-infused baseball and softball instructional company”. He has been working with the organization since 2018 as a biokinematic hitting consultant–a modern baseball job title if ever there was one.
Additionally, Jeremy Farrell has been promoted from minor league field coordinator to a new role as Chicago’s assistant director of player development, where his years of experience as an infielder in the Pirates and White Sox systems should come in handy. Jaron Madison, who, like McLeod, worked with Cubs GM Jed Hoyer during the latter’s time as San Diego’s GM at the turn of the decade, has been named as special assistant to the president/GM.
Although the men and women working in player development are not always appreciated by fans for their efforts in fostering, honing, and instructing organizational talent, hires like these are often critical in a team’s quest for continued, year-over-year success. These moves are likely pointed toward re-positioning Chicago’s farm as a top-shelf feeder system after recent rankings tagged the Cubs with bottom-third organizational evaluations; Fangraphs pegged the club with a 20th-ranked system, while only two Chicago youngsters, Nico Hoerner and Miguel Amaya, landed inside MLB.com’s “Top 100” list.