LANCASTER, Calif. - The Lancaster JetHawks have extended its player development contract agreement with the Houston Astros and will be the major league club's high-A affiliate for the next two years through 2016. The Astros affiliation began in 2009 when the two organizations signed a four-year agreement to place Houston's high-A affiliate in the California League for the first time in over 40 years and it was extended for two additional years following the 2012 season.
"Coming on the heels of another season of on-field success featuring high profile prospects, we are excited to continue our partnership with Houston," said JetHawks Vice President Brad Seymour. "The Astros continue to place a lot of focus in its minor league system, and we are thrilled that the fans in the Antelope Valley will continue to have the opportunity to enjoy watching the talent from one of the highest-rated farm systems in baseball develop on their way to the Major League level."
Houston brought Lancaster its first-ever California League championship in 2012 and in the six years that the JetHawks and Astros have been partners, 20 former Lancaster players have gone on to play at the Major League level, including All Star Jose Altuve, rookie phenom George Springer, Jon Singleton and veteran catcher Jason Castro.
The Houston organization's other Minor League affiliates are located in Oklahoma City, Okla. (AAA), Corpus Christi, Texas (AA), Quad Cities, Iowa (low A), Tri-Cities, NY (short season A) and Greeneville, Tenn. (Rookie).
"We have a wonderful partnership with the JetHawks and are very excited to extend our Player Development Contract," said Astros Director of Player Development Quinton McCracken. "We look forward to fielding exciting championship players and teams in Lancaster in the upcoming years."
At the conclusion of this Player Development Contract extension, Lancaster will have been a Houston affiliate for eight seasons, the most of any of the JetHawks previous Major League partners in the franchise's 19-year history. Prior to Houston's arrival in 2009, the JetHawks had a two-year affiliation with the Boston Red Sox, which followed a six-year agreement with the Arizona Diamondbacks from 2001 - 2006 and a five-year partnership with the Seattle Mariners from 1996 - 2000.
One hundred eighteen former JetHawks players have moved on to the Major League level during Lancaster's existence, including notables Brandon Webb, Justin Masterson, Mark Reynolds, Dan Uggla, Carlos Gonzalez and Carlos Quentin, and the organization has reached the California League playoffs in 11 of the club's 19 years.
The final home games of the 2014 regular season are this Labor Day Weekend and then the JetHawks will host playoff games beginning next week when the team is home on Saturday, September 6 and Sunday, September 7. Regular season and playoff tickets are on sale now and may be ordered by calling 661.726.5400 or on-line at JetHawks.com.