Ray Hernandez, a 30-year-old California native who spent last season working as the development coach for the Houston Astros’ Triple-A Fresno affiliate, will make his managerial debut this year with the Quad-Cities River Bandits.
The Astros announced the field staff for their Midwest League affiliate this morning, naming Hernandez as the manager of the Quad-Cities’ club and the leader of a coaching staff that will include pitching coach Erick Abreu and hitting coach Rafael Pena.
Hernandez joined the Houston organization one year ago after working three seasons as the pitching coach at Cosumnes River College in his hometown of Sacramento, California. Prior to that he coached one season at Elk Grove High School.
A 48th-round draft pick of the Diamondbacks in the 2011 draft out of Cal State-Fullerton, Hernandez pitched professionally for two seasons in the Arizona farm system.
Abreu is beginning his sixth season in the Astros organization, previously coaching Houston affiliates in the Dominican Summer League and Gulf Coast League as well as at short-season Greeneville and Tri-City. He was the pitching coach for a Tri-City team which won the 2018 New York-Penn League and led the league in strikeouts.
A native of Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, Abreu pitched in the Astros farm system for five years and also spent six seasons with the Yankees organization as a player.
Pena is the lone returning member of a staff which led Quad-Cities to an 81-59 record last season. He served as the River Bandits development coach in 2018 and this will be his first season as a hitting coach in the organization. Pena joined Houston after working two years as an assistant coach at the University of Science and Arts in Oklahoma.
The River Bandits’ athletic trainer and strength and conditioning coach will be named at a later date.