Members of organization impressed by Ryan hire
New club president showed promise with his Minor League work
PITTSBURGH -- There have been no shortage of good things said about Reid Ryan, introduced Friday as the Astros president of business operations, from those who know him well, and Astros first base coach Dave Clark is no different.
Clark managed the Double-A Corpus Christi Hooks for three seasons (2005-07) and Triple-A Round Rock Express (2008) for one year, a pair of teams that were founded and owned by Ryan-Sanders Baseball. Ryan was the CEO of Ryan-Sanders and oversaw operations of both clubs.
"He's a very intelligent guy," Clark said. "He's a baseball guy, he's a people person. He never really talked about having aspirations of doing anything like this, but you knew somewhere along the line that he was going to be given a shot, and he's the right man for the job."
Ryan, 41, was introduced at a news conference Friday in Houston, but he is no stranger to the organization because of his Minor League ties and the fact he's the son of Hall of Fame pitcher Nolan Ryan, who pitched for the Astros from 1980-88.
Astros manager Bo Porter is impressed by the hire.
"It's exciting when you're able to add someone of his caliber to our organization," he said. "He was raised in the clubhouse, he's been around baseball his entire life and he understands the sport and is going to bring a great dimension to our ballclub."
Since their inception, the Corpus Christi and Round Rock franchises have both been very successful and have been among Minor League Baseball's leaders in attendance. Clark got to see how well both teams were run first-hand.
"I know he's been very successful with the Round Rock club and with the Corpus club and the deals he was working there from the business side," Clark said. "For me, he was one of those go-getter type guys, and I'm sure that's what he's going to be to this organization as well."
Most of the Astros players came up through Corpus Christi and a few played for Round Rock, though the Express have been the Triple-A affiliate of the Rangers for the past two years. Astros catcher Jason Castro played at Corpus Christi in 2009 and was at Round Rock in 2010 when he was called up.
"From all my interactions with [Ryan] and everything I've heard from people that have been around him, he's not only a tremendous business guy but a tremendous baseball guy," he said. "When I heard he was hired to be the new president, I was really happy with that decision. He's a tremendous guy to have in the organization."
Astros outfielder J.D. Martinez was a star player at Corpus Christi in 2010 and again in 2011, when he hit .338 with 13 homers and 72 RBIs in 88 games before he was called up following the Astros' trade of Hunter Pence to the Phillies.
"Corpus was awesome," he said. "It was one of my best Minor League experiences. The fans are great, the people in the front office are great and always made it fun to go to the ballpark. They always had good crowds and it was a fun environment to play in."