Astros GM Jeff Luhnow gets an emotional visit from his former team
There was a touching scene in front of the visitor’s dugout at Minute Maid Park Tuesday night as Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow’s new life collided with his old. He’d come down to the field to do a news conference about his picks on the second day of the First Year Player Draft.
As he stood there, though, a string of players he’d drafted during his eight years as Cardinals scouting director stopped by to say hello. One by one, they approached him. Tyler Greene. Allen Craig. Matt Adams. Matt Carpenter. So did others. David Freese had a smile and a handshake, too. So did Mike Matheny. Before the Cardinals leave town, general manager John Mozeliak intends to hand Luhnow his ring from the 2011 World Series, and the emotions Luhnow will feel, probably won’t rival those he had in seeing all those players who meant so much to him personally and the Cardinals as an organization.
“Yeah, it’s emotional,” he said.
His extraordinary work with the Cardinals was a huge part of the reason new Astros owner Jim Crane hired him last December. Luhnow’s first three drafts produced 24 Major League players, the highest number in the game between 2005 and 2007. His classes included, Matt Adams, Tyler Greene, Jon Jay, Daniel Descalso, Shane Robinson, Lance Lynn, Jaime Garcia and Mitchell Boggs.
Crane wants Luhnow to do for the Astros exactly what he did for the Cardinals. Is there one pick he’s most proud of?
“Allen Craig,” he said. “He’d been working out at Berkeley, and when he brought him to Jupiter, the heat almost got him. People are looking at him thinking, `Nice pick.’’’
Craig turned out to be a really nice pick, and the Cardinals have been able to withstand a rash of injuries this season, in part, because of the depth Luhnow and his staff provided the organization.