|Boston Red Sox|
August 14, 1954 |
Grafton, North Dakota
Early baseball career
Tom 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 (1977–1978) 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).
The 2012 season marked Kotchman's 34th consecutive year as a minor league manager. He began his 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 1980–1981 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 1982–1983 as pilot of the Boston Red Sox' Class A Florida State League franchise, the Winter Haven Red Sox.
Almost three decades with Angels
In 1984, he joined the farm system of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim (then the California Angels), beginning an association that would last until 2012.
From 1984–1986, he was manager of the club's 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 (1987–1989).
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 2001–2012, he managed in the Pioneer League with the Provo Angels (2001–2004) and the Orem Owlz (2005–2012). Through 2012, he had compiled a career managerial record of 1,704 victories and 1,434 defeats, a winning percentage of .543, with eight league championships, including Orem's '09 Pioneer League title. In late October 2012, it was reported that Kotchman and the Angels had severed their longtime relationship, when he was told to concentrate solely on scouting.
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. On December 14, the Red Sox announced that Kotchman would also serve as a coach for the Rookie-level Gulf Coast Red Sox.
In 2008 Kotchman was one of the inaugural inductees into the Professional Baseball Scouts Hall of Fame.
- Johnson, Lloyd, and Wolf, Miles, ed., The Encyclopedia of Minor League Baseball, 3rd edition. Durham, N.C.: Baseball America, 2007.
- Career statistics and player information from Baseball-Reference (Minors)