Molitor's Manager Of The Year Chances
Image courtesy of Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY SportsTerry Francona, Cleveland Indians
AL Central Champions (102-60 Record)
Resume: The defending AL Champs had high hopes for 2017. Many considered them the favorites to repeat at the top of the league. Francona had to navigate his team through a potential World Series “hangover.” A slow start at the beginning of the year was quickly forgotten as the Indians compiled a record 22-game winning streak. Cleveland won the AL Central by 17 games.
AJ Hinch, Houston Astros
AL West Champions (101-61 Record)
Resume: Everyone knows what the Astros were able to do in the postseason but only the regular season figures into MLB’s award season. Houston has had high expectations the last couple of seasons, but Hinch was able to push all the right buttons as his club crossed the 100-win mark. He was able to use the right mix of young talent and veteran players to be a dominant regular season squad that went on to quite the postseason run. Houston won the AL West by 21 games.
Paul Molitor, Minnesota Twins
AL Wild Card (85-77 Record)
Resume: While the Indians and the Astros were expected to be strong clubs, no one expected Minnesota to make the playoffs. On the heels of the worst season in franchise history, Molitor was able to bring playoff baseball back to Minnesota (even if it was only for one game). Young players like Miguel Sano and Byron Buxton were able to take huge strides under Molitor’s guidance. Sometimes the voters can give the Manager of the Year to the team that improved the most and Minnesota definitely fits into this category.
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