ROUND ROCK (KXAN) — The Round Rock Express will be a AAA baseball affiliate for the 2021 season, but it won’t be Houston Astros prospects playing at the Dell Diamond.
Randy McIlvoy, the KPRC-TV Sports Director in Houston, reports the Astros are buying ownership stake the Sugar Land Skeeters organization and moving their AAA affiliate to the southwest suburb of Houston, pending MLB approval.
Round Rock Express President Chris Almendarez told KXAN as long as minor league baseball is being played, the Express will have AAA baseball in Round Rock for 2021. An extremely obvious assumption would be that the Texas Rangers would move its AAA affiliate from Nashville back to Round Rock.
The Express were the AAA affiliate of the Rangers for eight years from 2011-2018. In September 2018, the Express moved back to the Astros organization. The Express were affiliated with the Astros from 2000 to 2010.
The team is owned by Ryan Sanders Baseball, which is comprised of Baseball Hall of Fame pitcher Nolan Ryan, his son Reid Ryan and Don Sanders. It made sense for the Express to link up with the Astros in 2019, given the ties the Ryan family had to each organization. However, neither Nolan nor Reid currently hold a position with the Astros.
Reid Ryan became Astros President of Business Operations in 2013, but transitioned to an executive advisor role after the 2019 season.