In 2017, A.J. Hinch managed the Houston Astros to their first World Series title. But according to GM Jeff Lunhow and Hinch himself, they’ve only just begun.
The Astros held a press conference on Thursday, officially announcing Hinch’s contract extension. Lunhow made a rather bold prediction.
“When I hired A.J., at the press conference, I said that A.J. is going to be our manager when we win the first World Series for Houston,” Lunhow said (H/T David Nuño, ABC 13 in Houston). “I’m now telling you that A.J. is going to be the manager when we win the second and hopefully the third World Series for Houston.”
That’s definitely a challenge. As good as the Astros were in 2017, winning just that one World Series was tough enough. Winning another and possibly more after would be quite the achievement.
But Hinch himself was similarly confident, saying that Houston had only “scratched the surface.”
Hinch: We’ve just scratched the surface of what’s possible.
— Brian T. Smith (@ChronBrianSmith) August 30, 2018
The Astros are certainly on a short list of World Series favorites in 2018. They lead the AL West, have baseball’s third best record, and are on pace to reach the 100-win mark for a second-straight year.
Hinch has certainly developed a track record in Houston. The Astros are virtually assured of making the playoffs in 2018. That would be the team’s third trip in Hinch’s four years at the helm. Wednesday’s win also guaranteed Houston its fourth-straight winning season.