SAN ANTONIO -- Off hand, the Astros weren't exactly sure how many players they brought with them to San Antonio -- the consensus was it was somewhere between a whole bunch and a boatload -- but one player they knew for sure was with them on this trip was newcomer Alex Presley.
Presley, claimed on waivers from the Minnesota Twins on Thursday, is seemingly a perfect fit for the Astros, who feel they will benefit from the outfielder's ability to take on several roles.
"He's left-handed, he can play all three outfield positions, he gives us some flexibility where against a righty he can actually play right field," manager Bo Porter said. "And now you look at your outfield configuration and you have two switch-hitters in [Dexter] Fowler and [Robbie] Grossman, and the left-handed hitting Presley that you can match up that way."
Presley, who grew up not far from Texas in Monroe, La., is familiar with Houston after having taken several trips there as a member of the Pittsburgh Pirates from 2010-13. Changing teams this far into Spring Training took him by surprise, but it was a pleasant one given the proximity to home.
"I thought I was going to make the team in Minnesota," he said. "I'm glad Houston picked me up. It's a pace you want to play because it's close."
Presley, who will wear uniform No. 8, combined to hit .276 with three home runs and 15 RBIs for the Pirates and Twins in '13. He's played 143 career games in left field, 41 in center and 28 in right.
Porter said the opportunity to pick up Presley was something "we couldn't pass up."
"Just looking at our roster," Porter said, "It actually was just a perfect fit."