(SUGAR LAND, Texas) – The Houston Astros Player Development Department today announced its minor league coaching staffs for the 2022 season, with Mickey Storey returning as the manager for the Sugar Land Space Cowboys.
Also returning to the Space Cowboys staff is pitching coach, Erick Abreu. New to the staff in 2022 are hitting coach, Rafael Peña, development coach, Wladimir Sutil, athletic trainer, Brandon Zumbach and strength coach, Zach Reding.
Storey enters his third season as the Astros Triple A manager and is in his second season with the Space Cowboys, following the franchise’s move to Triple A from the independent ranks in 2021. He also managed the Astros’ Alternate Training site in Corpus Christi during the pandemic-shortened 2020 season. In his first season with Sugar Land, Storey guided the team to winning the East Division of Triple A West. Sugar Land posted the second-best record (75-55) in all of Triple A West.
Storey made his Triple A managerial debut in 2019 with the Round Rock Express, who logged the best record in the Pacific Coast League (84-56) and won the American Southern Division that season, also advancing to the Pacific Coast League Finals. He received his first managerial job with Single A Quad Cities in 2018, leading the team to the second-best record in the Midwest League and the Western Division title. His first coaching job with the Astros came in 2017 as a development coach for High A Buies Creek. Prior to his coaching career, Storey appeared in the Major Leagues with the Astros (2012) and Toronto Blue Jays (2013), and had a nine-year professional career as a right-handed pitcher. He was selected by the Oakland Athletics in the 31st round of the 2008 MLB Draft from Florida Atlantic University. Storey finished his career at Florida Atlantic second in program history in strikeouts and tied for second in wins.
Abreu returns to Sugar Land for his second season, and third as the pitching coach for the Astros’ Triple A affiliate. In 2021, Sugar Land posted the lowest ERA (4.13) in Triple A West. Abreu has coached within the Astros organization since 2014, including stints with Single A Quad Cities, Short-Season Tri-City, Rookie League Greeneville, the Gulf Coast League Astros and the Dominican Summer League Astros. He also worked as the bullpen coach for the Estrellas de Oriente in 2018, as the team went on to win the Dominican Winter League Championship. Abreu owns 12 years of professional experience and reached up to the Triple A level within the Astros and New York Yankees minor league systems.
Peña enters his fifth season as a coach in the Astros system, and his first in Sugar Land. He served as Double A Corpus Christi’s hitting coach in 2021. He’s also worked as a hitting coach for High A Fayetteville and Single A Quad Cities during his Astros tenure. Peña had a prolific junior college career at Western Oklahoma State University and University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma, hitting a combined.368 with 23 home runs through 163 career games.
Sutil enters his first season as a coach for the Astros’ Triple A affiliate. He’s coached or managed within the Astros system since 2014, most-recently with the organization’s Florida Complex League team in 2021. He was named the manager of Short-Season Tri-City in 2020 and was the manager of the Gulf Coast League Astros from 2017-19. Sutil had a 10-year professional career as an infielder, including eight in the Astros minor league system, and reached up to the Triple A level.
Zumbach is set to begin his first season on the Sugar Land staff as its athletic trainer. He joined the Astros prior to the 2020 season and worked as the High A Asheville athletic trainer in 2021. Reding enters his first season with the Space Cowboys and has served as a strength and conditioning coach within the Astros minor league system since 2018, most-recently with High A Asheville.