Giants Out as Houston Astros Sign Player Development Deal with Grizzlies Print
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Written by B|V|N Newsroom   
Friday, 19 September 2014 07:01
2015 will mark the 18th year of Triple-A affiliated baseball in the city of Fresno

FRESNO - The Fresno Grizzlies, in conjunction with the Houston Astros, have announced they have entered into a two-year player development contract through the 2016 season. The contract will mark the 18th and 19th seasons of Triple-A baseball in the city of Fresno.

“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.”

“We will play in a terrific league that will provide a great environment for our players to develop in. 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.”

Since Triple-A affiliated baseball began in Fresno in 1998, 322 players have worn both a Grizzlies and Major League uniform in their careers.  Alone in 2014, 16 players began the year in Fresno and received a promotion to the Majors.  Among those, 10 received their first promotion.

“Throughout the years, Fresno has proven itself as a place where champions are grown,” stated Grizzlies Executive Vice President Derek Franks.  “Our organization is incredibly invigorated by the partnership with the Astros organization considering the stockpile of talent in their farm system. We have a great deal of respect for Reid Ryan, Jeff Luhnow and the Houston front office and are excited to begin this new chapter of baseball in Downtown Fresno.”

According to MLB.com, the Houston Astros possess seven of the Top 100 Prospects, including No. 2 Prospect Carlos Correa.  Fresno ties to the Astros organization include right-handed pitchers Tyson Perez (Fresno City) and Derick Velazquez (Fresno State), and infielder Trent Woodward (Fresno State).

“We are very pleased to bring the Houston Astros Triple-A affiliate to Downtown Fresno,” stated Fresno Grizzlies Managing General Partner Chris Cummings. “It is important for our fans to be able to see the next wave of Farm Grown talent play at the big league level, and that will be achievable with the Astros playing road games in Los Angeles, Oakland, and San Francisco in 2015.”

Houston’s Triple-A team has put together three straight winning seasons and most recently finished tied for second (74-70) in the Pacific Coast League American Northern division under manager Tony DeFrancesco.

The Fresno Grizzlies have been at the forefront of promotional trends in sports, most recently through their collaboration with Nickelodeon on Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Night.  Already gearing up for Opening Day on April 9, 2015 at Chukchansi Park, the Grizzlies will be unveiling a new official home jersey, a themed alternate jersey, a revamped promotional schedule, and more in the coming months.

For information on season ticket plans for 2015, or to view mini plans, call 559.320.TIXS.