HOUSTON, TX - The Houston Astros announced today that the club has signed a two-year Player Development Contract (PDC) with the Triple A Fresno Grizzlies of the Pacific Coast League. The two-year contract between the Astros and Grizzlies is for 2015-16. The announcement was made by Astros Director of Player Development Quinton McCracken.
"We are looking forward to beginning our partnership with the Fresno Grizzlies," McCracken said. "They have been a mainstay for many years in the PCL. The ballpark (Chukchansi Park) is one of the more pitcher-friendly parks in the league, so we feel Fresno will provide a great environment for the development of our players. We've been fortunate to have had success with most of our minor league clubs in recent years and we expect that to continue with our club in Fresno next season."
Fresno becomes the ninth Triple A affiliate in Astros history, joining Oklahoma City (1962-72, 2011-14), Round Rock (2005-10), New Orleans (1997-2004), Tucson (1980-86), Charleston (1977-79), Memphis (1976), Iowa (1975) and Denver (1973-74).
"We are very pleased to bring the Houston Astros Triple A affiliate to Downtown Fresno," said Fresno Grizzlies Managing General Partner Chris Cummings. "Our efforts have brought an organization holding the most talented farm system in all of baseball, ensuring that fans will be seeing incredible talent at Chukchansi Park that is one step away from playing in the Majors."
The 2015 season will mark the 18th year of Triple A affiliated baseball in the city of Fresno, CA. The Grizzlies have finished in the top half of the Pacific Coast League in attendance for the last 10 seasons, welcoming over 460,000 fans to Chukchansi Park in each of those 10 years.
"We're excited to partner with the Fresno Grizzlies," said Astros President of Business Operations Reid Ryan. "In meetings with General Manager Jeff Luhnow and Player Development Director Quinton McCracken, we quickly realized that Fresno was a perfect fit for us. The Grizzlies have a solid foundation and staff and will be great partners with the Astros.
"Jeff, Quinton and our baseball operations staff have done a tremendous job building our system, so there should be a great deal of talent coming through Fresno in 2015."