Postseason and Season Awards: Baseball Essential Staff Predictions

National League Manager of the Year

Joe Maddon (64%)

Also receiving votes: Terry Collins (24%), Clint Hurdle (6%), Mike Matheny (6%)

When Joe Maddon was hired by the Cubs in the offseason, hopes were naturally high for the former Rays skipper. After being renowned for his ability to work with young players and outside the box techniques, Maddon quickly got results out of his young club, consistently playing four rookies in his lineup, converting Chris Coghlan into a new Ben Zobrist type, as well as former All-Stars, Starlin Castro and Travis Wood into effective role players. Maddon has transformed the Lovable Losers into a credible contender for the National League pennant.

Terry Collins, meanwhile, effectively managed being on the hot seat with a young club, marked by an arsenal of young arms, such as Matt Harvey, Noah Syndergaard, and Steven Matz. The addition of Yoenis Cespedes gave this team a shot in the arm, and Collins was able to guide the Mets to an NL East crown. Clint Hurdle, by now, has emerged as one of the finest managers in baseball. His work in transforming (along with GM Neal Huntington) the Pirates from a chronically backward organization to three consecutive playoff berths is nothing short of impressive. Mike Matheny has effectively taken over the reins from Tony LaRussa, guiding the team to a World Series in 2013 and an NLCS in 2014. This year, however, has likely been Matheny’s most challenging, given the injuries to critical players such as Adam WainwrightMatt Holliday, and Matt Adams. Despite these setbacks, Matheny has still navigated his team to a MLB-best 100 wins, which was no easy task with the second and third best teams in baseball also in the NL Central with the Pirates and Cubs, respectively.

Leave a Reply