Twins’ Rocco Baldelli wins American League Manager of the Year Award
By Chris Schad
The Minnesota Twins manager became the fourth skipper in team history to win the award and the second in American League history to do it in his first season.
The Minnesota Twins didn’t have a deep run in the postseason, but it’s hard to deny the progress that was made under first-year manager Rocco Baldelli. After becoming the youngest manager in Major League Baseball last November, the Twins won 101 games and claimed their first American League Central Division title since 2010.
With the giant leap under Baldelli, the Twins registered a 16-game improvement in the win column in 2019 and that was enough for the rest of baseball to notice as Baldelli was named the American League Manager of the Year on Tuesday evening.
Baldelli’s win came in large part to 13 first-place votes from the 30-man BWAA panel and was the same total that runner-up Aaron Boone received for steering the Yankees’ through several key injuries. With Baldelli also picking up 13 second-place and two third-place votes, he earned 106 points compared to Boone’s 96.
The award also comes with some historical significance for Baldelli. The 38-year old is the youngest manager to win the award in MLB history and is the fourth manager in Twins history to win it along with Tom Kelly (1991), Ron Gardenhire (2010) and Paul Molitor (2017).
The biggest question moving forward for Baldelli is whether he can keep the Twins momentum going from last season. The Twins come into the offseason with plenty of question marks especially in the starting rotation, but after the Twins ripped through the American League for a majority of 2019, it appears that the team is in good hands.