After The Athletic’s Sahadev Sharma first reported the news a few days ago, the Cubs officially named Ehsan Bokhari (pronounced Es-sen Bo-kar-ee) as their new assistant general manager on Monday. The 38-year-old Bokhari spent the previous three seasons with the Astros in different roles, most recently as Senior Director of Strategic Decision Making.
Bokhari oversaw all projects coming out of Houston’s research and development group, ensuring their quality and making certain all baseball operations’ consumer needs were met. That may be a long way to say nothing at all, but rest assured this dude is revered throughout the industry. He is very progressively-minded, something the Cubs have sought as they reshape the front office, and is credited with building the pitch-grader the Astros use.
Combine that with Carter Hawkins’ talent for developing pitchers in Cleveland and you’ve got a pretty good idea of what Jed Hoyer is looking for. Oh, and let’s not forget Craig Breslow being named AGM and VP of Pitching shortly after being tabbed to lead a new development infrastructure as Director of Pitching. That’s quite a crew with a great deal of practical knowledge and expertise across multiple fields.
Bokhari began his career in professional baseball in 2015, spending four seasons with the Dodgers’ research and development department as a Senior Analyst. Prior to his time with the Dodgers, Bokhari completed an MS in statistics and a Ph.D. in quantitative psychology at the University of Illinois. He then served as a visiting assistant professor in the stats department there.
If he can get the Cubs back to their winning ways, I guess you could say he’ll have gone from Champaign to champagne.