Astros name A.J. Hinch as new manager

HOUSTON -- The Houston Astros have named A.J. Hinch as the 18th manager in franchise history, General Manager Jeff Luhnow announced today.

"I am extremely excited to bring in A.J. as our new manager," said Luhnow. "Throughout our process, we searched for a person with previous Major League experience, who could effectively lead our young, growing nucleus of talented players. I have no doubt that A.J. is the right person to do that. He brings experience as a Major League player, Major League manager and player development executive. His skillsets and leadership abilities will be enormous assets in our clubhouse and to our entire organization."

Hinch, 40, brings more than 20 years of playing, managing and front office experience in Major League Baseball to the Astros organization. This is his second managerial post, as he served as Arizona's manager for parts of two seasons from 2009-10. Hinch also played parts of seven Major League seasons with Oakland (1998-2000), Kansas City (2001-02), Detroit (2003) and Philadelphia (2004). A former catcher, Hinch played in 338 career Major League games after being selected in the third round of the 1996 draft.

"I couldn't be more excited to be the manager of the Houston Astros," said Hinch. "We have a lot of work to do to bring winning back to the city of Houston and Astros fans everywhere. I can't wait to get started towards that goal today."

Hinch joins the Astros from San Diego, where he most recently served as the club's Vice President and Assistant General Manager for three years (2011-14). In that role, Hinch oversaw all aspects of the club's professional scouting and medical departments, while assisting with the club's roster composition, player acquisitions, talent evaluations and contract negotiations.

Hinch, who retired as a player in 2005, joined Arizona's front office in 2006 and was eventually named the team's Director of Player Development later that season. He held that role until being named the Diamondbacks manager in 2009.

Hinch was raised in Midwest City, Okla., before graduating from Stanford with a Bachelor of Science in psychology. He was drafted three times before signing his first professional contract, and was also a member of the bronze medal-winning 1996 U.S. Olympic Team.