Omar Lopez will be the Houston Astros new first base coach after spending two years as the manager of the Corpus Christi Hooks, their AA affiliate.
After 22 years with the Astros organization, the experience and dedication of Omar Lopez have paid off, finally making it to the Major Leagues to serve the role of Houston’s first base coach. He will be the replacement of outgoing Don Kelly.
Kelly spent just one season with the Astros under manager AJ Hinch as his first base coach. He’ll now be working with the Pirates newly hired manager Derek Shelton. Before Kelly joined the Houston coaching staff, he spent two years as a professional scout for Detroit.
Lopez began his baseball career playing three years for the Minor League systems of the Arizona Diamondbacks and Chicago White Sox as an infielder from 1996-98. After his short stint as a player, he joined the Astros Venezuelan program as a scout and a hitting and fielding instructor. He spent nine years (1999-2007) with that program before starting his managerial career.
Lopez’s first job as a manager was with the Venezuelan Summer League Astros taking the team to a 48-22 record and winning the League Championship in his managerial debut. It didn’t hurt that he had a 17-year-old kid from Puerto Cabello, Venezuela named Jose Altuve on the team batting .343. Altuve would move on up to the Astros Rookie League in Greenville, Tennessee the next season.
Lopez moved up the ladder of the Astros Minor League system managing in the Gulf Coast League, Rookie Level Greenville, Advanced A Lancaster, and the Class A Quad Cities, before Joining the AA Corpus Christi Hooks in 2017.
He earned honors rewarding his work on the way up, including Player Development Man of the Year and Manager of the Year in the Venezuelan Professional Baseball League. As recently as 2018 he was named the Texas League Manager of the Year leading the Hooks to an 82-56 record and winning their division.