The Houston Astros have named Bo Porter as the 17th manager in franchise history, General Manager Jeff Luhnow announced today.
Porter, who is 40 years old a resident of Houston, TX, has 18 years of combined experience as a player, coach and manager in the minor leagues and Major Leagues. He is currently serving as the third base coach for the playoff-bound Washington Nationals, and will continue in this role until the Nationals play their final postseason game. His role with the Astros will commence immediately following the conclusion of his service to the Nationals.
"Bo Porter has been successful as a player and as a coach and is ready to lead the Houston Astros as our next manager," Luhnow stated. "He is a natural leader and a winner and he inspires people around him to be their best.
"He rose quickly through the minor league ranks as a coach and instructor and has experience coaching in the big leagues in three different organizations and under several successful managers. Bo has been part of a tremendous turnaround effort in Washington and will continue to dedicate his efforts towards a successful playoff run under Davey Johnson. He will join us after the season concludes for Washington."
Astros Owner and Chairman Jim Crane also commented on Porter: "Bo's experience and management style will help lead our young players in creating a sense of urgency to restart the Astros winning tradition."
In the past two seasons, Porter's name has been mentioned often as one of the top, young managerial candidates in baseball. Following the 2010 season, he was a finalist for managerial positions for the Florida Marlins and Pittsburgh Pirates before eventually joining the Nationals coaching staff.
"He brings an energy to the clubhouse that is contagious and a teaching and motivating style that is appropriate for players of all ages and tenures," Luhnow said. "He is driven to succeed and we look forward to seeing the positive results as he channels his energy and expertise towards creating winning teams in Houston."
2012 marks Porter's second as third base coach for Washington and is his sixth as a Major League coach overall. Prior to joining the Nationals staff in 2011, he began the 2010 season as third base coach for the Arizona Diamondbacks before being promoted to bench coach on July 1 when Kirk Gibson was named manager. Porter also served as third base coach for the Florida Marlins for three seasons (2007-09) prior to joining the Diamondbacks.
Porter also has experience as a manager, skippering the Marlins Jamestown club of the New York-Penn League for the 2006 season. He made his coaching debut as hitting coach for Single A Greensboro of the South Atlantic League in 2005.
During his playing career, Porter played in parts of three seasons in the Major Leagues as an outfielder for the Cubs (1999), A's (2000) and Rangers (2001), appearing in a total of 89 games. He appeared in two playoff games for Oakland during the 2000 season. Porter was originally selected by the Cubs in the 1993 June Draft and would go on to hit 113 home runs with 503 RBI and 236 stolen bases in 10 minor league seasons.
Porter was an outstanding athlete while at Weequahis High School in New Jersey, reaching All-State status in baseball, football and basketball. He attended the University of Iowa, where he earned a bachelor's degree in communications studies.
Luhnow commented on the detailed process that he and his staff, along with Crane, Craig Biggio and President and CEO George Postolos, conducted in the search for a manager.
"We ran a thorough process that started with a long list of potential managers," he said. "We refined our criteria and narrowed the list down to nine potential managers and met with them. There were eight of us from the Astros that interviewed and evaluated the candidates. We narrowed the list down to four finalists, including our interim manager.
"The finalists were all uniquely qualified to lead this team going forward and all four have bright managerial futures ahead. In the end, we selected the candidate that best fit the criteria we were seeking and is best suited to lead the Astros through this transition phase and help us achieve our common objective of consistent competitiveness and ultimately, multiple championships."