The Space Cowboys have announced their 2024 coaching staff


Photo credit: Sugar land Space Cowboys

SUGAR LAND, TX – The 2024 coaching staff for the Sugar Land Space Cowboys has been announced by the Houston Astros on Monday.


The staff will include manager Mickey Storey, pitching coach Thomas Whitsett, hitting coach Aaron Westlake, development coach Wladimir Sutil, athletic trainer Takeaki Ando, strength coach Sam Knox, dietitian Tara Boening and mental health coach Andrea Estrada.


Storey continues as the only manager for Sugar Land since they became the Triple-A affiliate of the Astros in 2021. In his time at the helm for Sugar Land, Storey is 209-219 and helped Sugar Land to a Pacific Coast League East Division title in 2021. This will be Storey’s sixth season as a manager in the Astros system and the fifth consecutive season he has managed Houston’s top affiliate, compiling an overall record of 374-334 between Sugar Land (2021-current), Round Rock (2019) and Quad Cities (2018). Originally selected as a right-handed pitcher in the 31st round of the 2008 draft by the Oakland Athletics out of Florida Atlantic University, Storey made his Major League debut with the Astros in 2012, making 26 career appearances with Houston.


This will be the first season for Whitsett with the Space Cowboys after spending 2023 as the Astros assistant pitching coordinator. Whitsett served as the pitching coach for the Double-A Corpus Christi Hooks in 2022, returning to the Astros organization after spending a year as the director of player development for pitchers at the University of Arizona in 2021. Whitsett worked as the pitching coach for the High-A Fayetteville Woodpeckers in 2019 and was set to be with Fayetteville in 2020 before the cancelled Minor League season. He also served as the head baseball coach at Pleasant Valley High School in Chico, California from 2016 to 2018 and worked as a pitching coordinator for the NorCal Baseball Club.


Westlake returns for his second season as the hitting coach for Sugar Land. He previously worked as the hitting coach for the Corpus Christi Hooks in 2022 and was a development coach for the Astros in the Florida Complex League in 2021. A former third-round pick of the Tigers in 2011, Westlake played professionally for four seasons from 2011 to 2014. While with Vanderbilt in college, Westlake was a Freshman All-American, won the SEC batting title in 2009 and helped lead Vanderbilt to their first ever College World Series appearance in 2011.


Sutil begins his third season with the Space Cowboys as the teams’ development coach. A veteran of the Astros system since 2014, Sutil helped Sugar Land post their best fielding percentage (.981) in franchise history in 2023 and tied for the second-best fielding percentage in the Pacific Coast League while committing the second-fewest errors (100). Sutil previously managed the Florida Complex League Astros in 2021 and the Gulf Coast League Astros from 2017 to 2019. He was also a coach for the Gulf Coast League Astros in 2015 and a coach for the Greeneville Astros in 2014 and 2016. A native of Caracas, Venezuela, Sutil signed with the Astros as a player in 2004 and spent nine years as an infielder in the Astros system from 2004 to 2011 before spending one season in the Arizona Diamondbacks organization, hitting .269 with 194 stolen bases in 864 career games.


Ando joins the Space Cowboys after working as the athletic trainer for the Hooks in 2022 and 2023. He previously worked as the athletic trainer for the Fayetteville Woodpeckers in 2021 and was set to be an athletic trainer for the Gulf Coast League Astros in 2020. A native of Tokyo, Ando earned his bachelor’s in sports science at Waseda University in Saitama, Japan and has master’s degrees from the University of Nebraska at Omaha (athletic training) and New Mexico State (art education).


Knox comes to Sugar Land after spending the last two seasons as the strength coach for the High-A Asheville Tourists. Boening previously served as the team dietitian for Sugar Land in 2022 and worked as a full-time consultant sports dietitian for the Houston Rockets from 2013 to 2021. This will be the first season with Sugar Land for Estrada.


The Space Cowboys open the 2024 season on the road on March 29 against the Round Rock Express. Opening Day at Constellation Field is on Tuesday, April 2 when the Space Cowboys take on the Las Vegas Aviators at 6:05 pm. Full season membershipspartial season membershipsticket plans and group outings are available for the 2024 season at


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