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Shirley, you can’t be serious

The White Sox are serious, and they’re promoting Mike Shirley to director of amateur scouting

MLB: Texas Rangers at Chicago White Sox
Success story: Reliever Aaron Bummer, having a career year, is one of Mike Shirley’s many scouting finds.
Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports

On Friday, the Chicago White Sox announced that talent evaluator Mike Shirley would be promoted to director of amateur scouting

Shirley replaces Nick Hostetler, who was promoted to special assistant to the general manager a couple of months ago.

The former pro has worked in a scouting capacity for the White Sox since 2000, and has played a role in evaluating and signing Aaron Bummer, John Ely, Chris Getz, Micah Johnson, Nate Jones, Brian Omogrosso, Josh Phegley, Clayton Richard, Jonathan Stiever and Matt Zaleski. It is a safe bet he had input in the coup that saw the White Sox sign 33rd round draft pick Bryce Bush out of Michigan in 2018.

Below is the full team press release:


CHICAGO – The Chicago White Sox have promoted long-time talent evaluator Mike Shirley to director of amateur scouting.

Shirley, 49, replaces Nick Hostetler, who was promoted to special assistant to the general manager in July. In his new role, Shirley will oversee all aspects of the amateur scouting department, including Major League Baseball’s annual First-Year Player Draft.

Shirley was named White Sox assistant scouting director in November 2018 after serving the club as a cross checker from 2010-2018. He proved invaluable to Hostetler during the team’s most recent drafts as the White Sox minor-league system is currently ranked No. 3 by Baseball America.

“We are incredibly pleased to be able to promote Mike as the new director of amateur scouting,” said Rick Hahn, White Sox senior vice president/general manager. “Mike has spent two decades in our organization, serving in just about every capacity within the scouting department. He is a very well-regarded and versatile scout with a substantial evaluation track record and a facility with objective analysis.

“Mike has played a role in our drafting and signing a number of impactful major leaguers, as well as several talented players still in our system. He communicates well and will do an outstanding job leading our scouting staff as they follow the grueling amateur calendar up to the annual draft each June. This is well deserved and Mike has already moved into the role seamlessly.”

Shirley worked as a full-time area scout in the Midwest from 2004-2009 after joining the Sox as a part-time area scout prior to the 2000 season. He served as an associate scout for the Minnesota Twins during the 1999 season.

Among the players Shirley has scouted during his tenure with the club include infielders Chris Getz (2005) and Micah Johnson (2012), left-handed pitchers Aaron Bummer (2014) and Clayton Richard (2005), right-handed pitchers John Ely (2007), Nate Jones (2007), Brian Omogrosso (2006), Jonathan Stiever (2018) and Matt Zaleski (2004) and catcher Josh Phegley (2009).

Shirley, who is a native of Anderson, Ind., played in 182 career minor-league games as an outfielder in the Cleveland organization from 1990-92. He was selected by the Indians in the 45th round of the 1989 draft. Shirley also played two seasons for the Anderson Lawmen of the independent Mid-America League from 1995-96.

Shirley resides in Anderson, Ind. with his wife, Kimberly, and their three sons, Jaxon, Caden and Colton.