Coaching/Front Office Hires & Promotions 2022

With today’s announcement, the Astros front office goes from just one assistant GM to three. More notably, they made history by hiring Sara Goodrum as their Director of Player Development. She is the first woman to ever hold that title (she also made history in her previous job with Milwaukee as no woman had ever held that title when she was promoted a year ago). A related footnote: 3 of the 13 most senior people in baseball operations (holding the title of Director or above) are women.

James Click, GM

  • Pete Putila, AGM – Player Development, Evaluation & Sports Medicine/Performance

    • Charles Cook – Senior Director of Player Evaluation (oversees all scouting)
      (formerly Director of Player Evaluation)

      • Matt Hogan – Director of Player Personnel
        (formerly Manager of Pro Scouting)
    • Bill Firkus – Senior Director of Baseball Strategy

    • Sara Goodrum – Director of Player Development
      (formerly Brewers minor league hitting coordinator)

    • Caridad Cabrera – Director of Latin American Operations

    • Derrick Fong – Director of Minor League Operations

    • Derek Vigoa – Director of Team Operations

  • Scott Powers, AGM – R&D/Performance Science
    (formerly Dodgers director of quant analysis)

    • Sarah Gelles – Director of R&D

    • Jacob Buffa – Director of Performance Science
      (formerly Sport Science Analyst)

  • Andrew Ball, AGM – Rules Compliance/Contract Negotiations
    (formerly Angels director of baseball operations and before that Rays assistant director of pro scouting)

(new to org are in bold)

Jason Kantzler was elevated to the major league coaching staff. He served as minor league hitting coordinator in 2021 (whether he will serve in a dual role for 2022 like Bill Murphy did on the pitching side last year wasn’t immediately clear). The Astros will have a 10-man major league coaching staff this season just as they had in 2021.

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I figure if nothing else, @HudsonHawk will approve of this hire for the surname alone.


She had to get away from the Brewers because…well, I guess it’s just a different crowd.


Cheapbeer isn’t a good surname

Neither is Gutbier.

Wait a minute, it’s not Goodrum, it’s MURDOOG!!!

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Use your shinning

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Do you want to get suuuuued?

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Some folks who moved on recently to higher positions with other organizations:

  • Roman Ocumarez
    Supervisor of International Scouting who took the Director of International Scouting job with the Marlins

  • Brendan Fournie
    Manager of Player Valuations who joins Mike Elias in Baltimore as the Orioles’ Director of Baseball Strategy

  • Ben Rosenthal
    AAA hitting coach joined Alex Cora’s staff as assistant hitting coach for the Red Sox

The only professional baseball any of us are going to see in the immediate future will be headed up by these guys…

  • Again two squads appear to be contemplated for the Florida Complex League. We saw the same type of announcement last year but the Astros ended up fielding only one team due to (what I was told) a lack of enough healthy pitchers.

  • Two squads also appear to be contemplated for the DSL. If that actually occurs, it would be the first time the Astros have fielded 2 DSL teams since the 2017 season.

  • The MLB restriction of having no more than 180 players under contract actually makes it impossible for the Astros to field 4 full season teams (AAA, AA, hi-A and lo-A) and 4 short season teams (2 FCL and 2 DSL). So perhaps the Astros are assuming MLB bumps up that contract limit? Given MLB slashing the hell out of the minors that doesn’t seem very likely.

  • Yes, the new Fayetteville manager is Dickie’s son. He was a 5th round pick of the Blue Jays back in 2010 and spent 7 years playing in the minors. He actually joined the org last season as a development coach.


Good to see Oz back in the organization…

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Informative BA article about 'Stros scouting…

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So what the article says is that in 2022 the Astros have reversed course under Click and are now beefing up their scouting department. The numbers per BA:

Number of Scouts: Professional/Amateur/International/Total

2010 15/26/17/58
2011 17/24/16/57
2012 11/23/15/49
2013 12/23/12/47
2014 12/23/14/49
2015 11/22/15/48
2016 11/24/20/55
2017 10/22/18/50
2018 0/15/10/25
2019 0/13/6/19
2020 0/15/11/26
2021 0/16/11/27
2022 0/22/16/38

The 11 scouts added in 2022 was the largest increase by any org although the Astros still have one of the smallest scouting departments in the industry.

Why the turnaround? Among other things…

They Had No Clue About Amateur Player Makeup

Another byproduct was the Astros rarely had adequate time to gather makeup information about a player. In one instance, the organization was unaware of widely known behavior concerns about a draft prospect because it did not have an area scout dedicated to the region. The team only learned of the concerns after they drafted the player, when scouts from other teams texted their Astros counterparts incredulously asking them what they were doing.

I’m not certain who that player was and it’s possible it ended up being someone they didn’t sign. But if I had to guess I’d throw out the name of OF James Nix. The Astros drafted him in 2019 and gave him a $250K bonus. He was released less than a year later after posting just 61 ABs. That just doesn’t happen with a guy receiving that relatively large a bonus. At the time he was released I posted that it must have been something off the field that led to it. No other organization ever signed him either further suggesting something toxic there.

I remember Nix. Junior college player and very toolsy. That he was released so quickly surprised me too. Your theory makes as much sense as anything else.

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Who was the 2nd/3rd round HS guy they didn’t sign, during the Aiken draft iirc?

The scouting purge took place in 2018 so whichever guy it was would have to have been drafted in 2018 or later.

The earlier Nix you’re thinking of was named Jacob. He and Aiken were taken back in 2014.

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And Mac Marshall. He was the other prep pitcher the Astros were going to sign in the fallout from Aiken’s physical.

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Yep, that’s him.

Replenishing the scouting department is one of the better aspects of Click’s tenure and it also speaks well of Crane to see the wisdom of this. Hopefully, they hire even more.

Formerly the Manager of International Scouting for the Astros before leaving to join Elias in Baltimore several years ago…