Former Stanford baseball standout A.J. Hinch was introduced as the manager of the Houston Astros at a press conference Monday afternoon at Minute Maid Park. Hinch, whose MLB managing experience includes parts of two seasons with the Arizona Diamondbacks from 2009-10, most recently held the position of vice president of scouting for the San Diego Padres.
"To know me is to know I like winning," Hinch said. "I like to compete. I see great things ahead here for the Houston Astros. The goal is to win championships. It's going to take energy and commitment and great coaches, some of which are already here."
Hinch, a two-time Pac-10 Player of the Year, graduated from Stanford University with a degree in psychology in 1996. The catcher hit over .300 in all four seasons on The Farm, including a .381 campaign with 11 home runs and 59 RBI as a senior. He also caught for the Cardinal's 1995 College World Series team and earned a bronze medal at the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta.
Hinch will be inducted to the Stanford Athletics Hall of Fame Oct. 11. The class of eight inductees will be introduced at halftime during Stanford's football game against Washington State Oct. 10.
A third-round pick in the 1995 MLB Draft by Minnesota, Hinch opted to stay at Stanford for his senior season. He was picked by Oakland the following year, also in the third round, and debuted with the A's in 1998. Hinch appeared in seven MLB seasons with his last coming for Philadelphia in 2004. He batted .219 with 32 home runs and 112 in 350 career Major League games.
Hinch could be united with a pair of former Cardinal in Houston. Jason Castro, another ex-Cardinal catcher, was an all-star for the Astros in 2013 and Mark Appel is currently in the team's farm system after being picked No. 1 overall in the 2013 MLB Draft.