The announcement was made by ValleyCats President / Principal Owner Bill Gladstone and Astros President of Business Operations Reid Ryan at a press conference on Saturday afternoon.
“We strongly value the relationship that we have with the Houston Astros, and are delighted to extend the partnership.” Gladstone said. “The highly regarded Astros minor league system has kept the ValleyCats competitive on the field, and we expect that to continue for many years to come.”
Since 2012, the ValleyCats have had more wins than any other Short Season A franchise. Tri-City has won the Stedler Division title in each of the last four seasons, posting more wins than any team in the New York-Penn League in that span in addition to capturing two championship titles (2010, 2013).
The Tri-City ValleyCats organization is currently the longest tenured minor league affiliate of the Astros. The partnership was formed in 2001 prior to the club moving to Troy from Pittsfield, Mass.
“The Astros are very excited to announce this two-year extension with Tri-City,” Ryan said. “Maintaining our affiliation with the ValleyCats is important to the Astros, as the first-rate facility and winning environment at Joseph L. Bruno Stadium has been a key part of the development process for our young players. Nine players on the Astros current active Major League roster spent time in Tri-City, including four-time All-Star Jose Altuve, 2013 All-Star Jason Castro and 2015 All-Star and AL Cy Young Award winner Dallas Keuchel. We are proud to be associated with the Gladstone family and the staff at the ValleyCats, and look forward to another two years in Tri-City.”
In the 15 years of affiliation between the Astros and ValleyCats, 34 players made their Major League debuts with the Astros after spending part of their minor league development at Tri-City, including current Astros 2B Jose Altuve, RHP Michael Feliz, OF Tony Kemp, LHP Dallas Keuchel, RHP Joe Musgrove, IF A.J. Reed, OF George Springer, OF Preston Tucker and IF Tyler White.