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Introducing the Astros New Coaches

If you hadn’t heard, there has been some departures in the Astros coaching department, as other teams begin to recognize and hope to steal glimpses of the Astros greatness from the coaches they developed. Luckily, Luhnow is on the job, and there’s no one I trust more. I wanted to do a quick article introducing the new staff that was recently named.

I’ll try to do the same format for each, a 1-paragraph type background, some twitter reactions, and Hinch’s quote in regards to each of them.

Troy Snitker - Co-hitting Coach

Snitker, 29, seen posing above with his father (Atlanta Braves Manager, Brian Snitker) has had a meteoric rise through the Astros system. Troy was drafted by the Braves in the 19th round of the 2011 draft. His major league career was rather brief, ultimately leading him to return to Georgia to be a coach, before his start with the Astros. He grew from the Buies Creek Astros in 2017, to the Hooks in 2018, and now to the MLB for the 2019 season.

”The 2019 season will be Snitker’s fourth in the Astros’ organization. He has served as a hitting coach or coordinator at various levels over his first three years. The 29-year-old played two seasons as a catcher in the Braves’ Minor League system (2011-12). Brian Snitker took over as Braves manager early in the 2016 season, and this year he was named National League Manager of the Year after leading Atlanta to the playoffs.

”[Troy] Snitker, we felt was a very influential, rising coach through our system,” Hinch said. “It’s been a quick rise through the system for him. A lot of our players who went on rehab last year raved about him, our [player development] people raved about him and he gets a great opportunity to come help us.””

Alex Cintron - Co-Hitting Coach

Alex Cintron, 39, started with the Astros as an interpreter, and stepped into Rich Dauer’s shoes due to emergency. It sounds like a crazy step from interpreter, but what’s lost is that Alex Cintron was actually a MLB-player, serving for 9 years with various teams both in the MLB and internationally. Alex’s big year in the MLB was 2003, when he hit .317/.359/.489 with the Diamondbacks.

”“It was very rare to have someone with his credentials in the translator job, but he was willing to do anything to be involved,” Hinch said. “During the season, when Dauer was talking about retirement, we started to expose Alex to a little bit more responsibility.””

When he was originally hired, Luhnow said:

”He brings such a unique perspective having played in the big leagues for so many teams and been in the Minor Leagues and been in so many international competitions, so he’s got a lot of experience,” Luhnow said. “He’ll help out where he can on the baseball operations side of things, but his primary role is to help the Spanish-speaking players do their interviews and provide some translation.”

Don Kelly - First Base Coach

It’s always tough to gauge the impact of individual coaches, but when I first started searching for Don Kelly, I came to immediately believe that he will be an asset. Why? Well the first article I found was “NO!!! Detroit Tigers lose Don Kelly ... again” ( ). Here are some other reactions:

So who is Don Kelly, an eighth round draft pick, who played across 9 years as a utility player. His .230/.294/.334 career stat line doesn’t reflect his value to his team. In his career, Kelly played every single position on the diamond, including Pitcher and Catcher (in a very limited amount of time).

”Kelly, 38, is joining the Astros after spending his past two seasons as a pro scout for the Tigers. He reached folk-hero status as a super-utility player in Detroit, becoming a postseason hero during the club’s run of four consecutive AL Central titles (2011-14), where he was a teammate of Justin Verlander. Kelly appeared in parts of nine seasons in the Majors with the Pirates (2007), Tigers (2009-14) and Marlins (2015-16).

”He’s someone I’ve known for a long time who came off the field a couple of years ago,” Hinch said. “He’s extremely relatable to today’s players, and his energy and his passion and really his expertise -- he played every position in the big leagues -- he’s as relatable as they come as far as first-year coaches.””

Josh Miller - Bullpen Coach

Matthew Stockman / Getty Images North America

Josh Miller, 39, pitched for ten years in the minors, four of which being with the Astros. He moved on to pro scout in 2011, then was promoted to pitching coach in Greenville. Most recently, in 2016, he was promoted to minor league pitching coordinator.

”Miller, 39, spent the 2018 season as the Astros’ Minor League pitching coordinator, which was his 12th year in the organization. He’s spent those past dozen seasons in various roles, as a player (2005-08), scout (2011-12), pitching coach (2013-15) and pitching coordinator (2016-18).

”He’s gone through our system in virtually every role and having him as a capable replacement for Doug is huge,” Hinch said. “A lot of familiarity, a lot of expertise.”