ROUND ROCK, Texas — It's fitting that the 20th anniversary of the Round Rock Express is celebrated with a new era – the Mickey Storey era as the Express manager.

The 33-year-old Express skipper has ascended quickly in the Astros organization since retiring from baseball as a player after the 2016 season.

The former pitcher actually played for the Houston Astros and made his MLB debut in an Astros uniform in August 2012.

Storey began his managerial career last season with the Quad City River Bandits, the Class A affiliate for the Astros.

When the affiliation change for the Round Rock Express switched from the Rangers to the Astros, Storey was promoted to the AAA Express from Quad City.

During Tuesday's media day at Dell Diamond, Storey was cool and calm about his new opportunity and acknowledged that he has several of the Astros' top prospects to groom and develop, including pitcher Forrest Whitley.

Round Rock opens the season on the road in New Orleans on Thursday against the Baby Cakes. 

Opening day is forever something special to Storey and the Express. 

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"We've seen the big leagues kick off opening day, everyone who has played this game gets the chills," said Storey. "There's no difference in that locker room, we're ready to rock." 

The Express home opening series is next week against Nashville Sounds.

Round Rock opens that five-game series on Tuesday, April 9.

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