Astros coach Omar Lopez to manage Venezuela in 2023 World Baseball Classic

August 17th, 2022

The Venezuelan Baseball Federation on Wednesday announced that Houston Astros first-base coach Omar Lopez has been named manager of Venezuela’s team that will compete in the upcoming World Baseball Classic, scheduled to take place in March of 2023. Lopez, a native of Valencia, Venezuela, has some previous experience participating in the World Baseball Classic as he served as the quality control coach for Venezuela in the 2016 WBC.

Lopez, who has been in the Astros organization for 24 seasons, had a long, successful run as a minor league manager prior to joining the Astros Major League coaching staff in 2020. His most recent stint as a manager was with the Double A Corpus Christi Hooks in 2018 and 2019. In 2018, he led the Hooks to an 82-56 record and a postseason appearance, earning Texas League Manager of the Year honors for his efforts.

Overall, Lopez spent 12 seasons as a manager in the Astros system from 2008-19. One of his highlights came in 2013 when he led Quad Cities (A) to the Midwest League Championship with an 81-57 record in the regular season.

After managing the Astros Gulf Coast League club in 2010, Lopez was named as the Astros Player Development Man of the Year. Additionally, he has had success on the international level as well, managing the Caribes de Anzoategui to the Venezuelan Winter League championship for the 2014-15 season. Lopez earned Manager of the Year honors for that season as well while being the youngest manager in the league at 38 years old.

Prior to becoming a manager, Lopez spent from 1999-2007 served in the Astros system in Venezuela as a full-time scout and as a hitting and infield instructor. He was one of the scouts that recommended that the Astros sign Jose Altuve, who was a little-known, 16-year-old free agent at the time. Prior to joining the Astros staff, Lopez played three seasons of minor league baseball as a third baseman in the White Sox (1996-97) and Diamondbacks (1998) organizations.