The Astros’ new Low-A manager is the son of a former fan favorite.
The Houston Astros announced the staffs of their minor-league affiliates Tuesday, including two familiar faces at the Triple-A level. Manager Mickey Storey and pitching coach Erick Abreu — two coaches seen around spring training in 2021— are returning for the Sugar Land Space Cowboys.
The Space Cowboys also welcome hitting coach Rafael Peña, development coach Wladimir Sutil, athletic trainer Brandon Zumbach and strength coach Zach Reding, following promotions and departures.
At the Low-A level, former Astros shortstop Dickie Thon’s son, Joe, has been named manager of the Fayetteville Woodpeckers. Joe Thon is joined by hitting coach Joe Puentes, who saw a promotion from Florida Complex League Astros.
Thon, a former assistant coach at the University of Houston, becomes a minor-league manager in his second season in the Astros’ minor-league system. The 30-year-old is bilingual, beginning his first season as a professional baseball manager in 2022.
Like his father, Thon played professional baseball but never made it to the major-league level. In 2017, his career came to end, following a release by the St. Louis Cardinals from the Double-A Springfield Cardinals.
Thon played seven years in Minor League Baseball, before landing at Houston. While pursuing his degree, he worked for the Cougars as a student assistant coach and then a volunteer assistant coach for over a year.
Thon worked as an intern for the Astros, before becoming a development coach and now a manager.
Of others on staff for the Woodpeckers, Vincent Blue was hired as a development coach. Blue is an alumnus of Lamar High School in Houston and currently runs BE Elite Baseball in Houston, Chandler Rome of the Houston Chronicle reports.