Under Elias' leadership, the Astros have drafted several players who have gone on to make significant contributions in the Major Leagues, including IF Alex Bregman (2nd overall pick, 2015), OF Tony Kemp (5th round, 2013), IF A.J. Reed (2nd round, 2014) and IF Tyler White (33rd round, 2013). A number of the Astros current top prospects were drafted under Elias' watch, including OF Kyle Tucker (5th overall pick, 2015), RHP Forrest Whitley (16th overall pick, 2016), OF Derek Fisher (37th overall pick, 2014), OF Daz Cameron (37th overall pick, 2015), IF J.D. Davis (3rd round, 2014) and OF Ronnie Dawson (2nd round, 2016).
Elias is a graduate of Yale University, where he was a left-handed pitcher on the varsity baseball team, earning four letters. He began his career as an area scout with the St. Louis Cardinals in 2007 and was promoted to Manager of Amateur Scouting in 2010.
Elias will continue to oversee the Astros amateur scouting department, and will now provide leadership and oversight to the Astros player development department.
Putila is in his sixth year with the Astros organization after joining the club as a baseball operations intern in 2011. A graduate of West Virginia University and a native of Carmichaels, Pa., Putila has spent the last year as the club's Assistant Director of Minor League Operations, which followed stints as the club's Coordinator of Baseball Operations (2014-15) and Baseball Operations Assistant (2011-13).
Over the past three years at both the Major and minor league levels, Putila has worked closely with the Astros players and coaches in utilizing the best available technology and scouting tools. Throughout his career with the Astros, he has worked in conjunction with the Astros Decision Sciences team, overseen the club's minor league video operations, conducted in-game video replay review during the 2015 MLB regular season and playoffs, and assisted with Major League player transactions and general baseball administration.
In his new role, Putila will lead the Astros efforts in all areas of player development operations.
Velasco joined the Astros in January of 2014 following internships with the New York Mets (2013) and SFX Baseball Group (2011-12). With the Astros, he has served as the club's Player Development Assistant (2014) and Baseball Operations Coordinator (2015-16). During the 2015-16 offseason, Velasco played an important role in helping the club through the most intensive salary arbitration process under General Manager Jeff Luhnow's tenure with Houston.
Velasco earned his law degree from Tulane University and his undergraduate degree from Boston College. A native of San Juan, Puerto Rico, Velasco is bilingual and has played an important role in the day-to-day operations of the minor league system during his time with Houston.