Astros add Troy Snitker to '19 coaching staff

Braves manager's son will share hitting duties with Cintron

November 21st, 2018
Troy Snitker (38) Hitting Coach Scottsdale Scorpions HOU 2011 19th round November 10, 2018, Glendale Desert Dogs - Scottsdale Scorpions 11/10/2018 at Scottsdale Stadium in Scottsdale, Arizona. Freek Bouw - European Baseball MagazineFreek Bouw - Phrake Photography

HOUSTON -- Troy Snitker, the son of Braves manager Brian Snitker, was added to the Astros' Major League coaching staff as one of their hitting coaches, the club announced on Wednesday. Houston also announced the hiring of former Major Leaguer Don Kelly as first-base coach and the promotion of Josh Miller to bullpen coach.

Snitker, who was the hitting coach at Double-A Corpus Christi last season, will share the hitting coach duties with Alex Cintron, a former big leaguer who last season was the Astros' first-base coach. The rest of manager AJ Hinch's coaching staff returns from last season in their same roles: bench coach Joe Espada, pitching coach Brent Strom and third-base coach Gary Pettis.

The Astros lost hitting coaches Dave Hudgens and Jeff Albert, along with bullpen coach Doug White, to other teams in promotions.

"It shows the depth that our coaching staff has had given how many guys continue to get promoted throughout he industry, and we were lucky to have some internal guys to take over key roles," Hinch said.

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."

Cintron, 39, joined the Astros as a Spanish interpreter, advance scout and assistant coach in 2017. He played nine seasons in the Majors as an infielder, seeing time with the D-backs (2001-05), White Sox (2006-07), Orioles (2008) and Nationals (2009).

"Cintron has great relationship skills with our players and assisted in some of the hitting last year as a coach, in addition to his other areas," Hinch said. "He became somebody we focused on as we started to put this staff together."

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 . 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."

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."