American League Manager of the Year
A.J. Hinch (52%)
Notice a common theme? It certainly seems as though the Baseball Essential staff has been impressed by the Houston Astros this year. After several ugly years in Houston, new manager AJ Hinch has delivered for General Manager Jeff Luhnow. Despite a subpar September, Hinch has led the Astros beyond where many believed possible for such a young club. In Toronto, John Gibbons kept the team afloat for much of the first half before being given David Price and Troy Tulowitzki at the deadline. Since then, Toronto has been on an unbelievable run, earning their first postseason berth since their second World Series victory in 1993. In Arlington, Jeff Bannister has been nothing short of impressive. Even after the deadline acquisition of Cole Hamels, many believed the Rangers were playing for 2016. Instead, Bannister rallied his team and took over control of the AL West from their cross-state rivals in late September. Joe Girardi has been impressive in balancing a team that many wrote off for dead before the season began. For much of the first half, the Yankees controlled the AL East before losing out to the Blue Jays in the second half. Ned Yost deserves praise for leading the Royals to the best record in the American League and proving many detractors wrong. Paul Molitor and Terry Francona both guided their young squads to better than expected seasons, giving hope to their fan bases for 2016. John Farrell earned one vote for his battle with cancer, which forced him to take a leave of absence in the second half.