Minnesota Twins manager Rocco Baldelli was named the 2019 American League Manager of the Year on Tuesday night. He beat out Yankees manager Aaron Boone, the runner-up, and third-place finisher Kevin Cash of the Rays.
The Twins won 101 games this past season, their most since 1965, as well as their first AL Central title since 2010. Baldelli just completed his first season as a major league manager after being hired away from Cash's coaching staff last offseason.
Baldelli's squad used a record 307 home runs to overcome deficiencies in their pitching staff and, weirdly, with their situational hitting. The rookie skipper manipulated his bullpen well, leading to an AL best 23-12 record in one-run games.
Generally speaking, the Manager of the Year award is the "manager of the team that most exceeded expectations" award, and the Twins definitely exceeded expectations. They came into 2019 as a fringe contender and developed into a powerhouse before being swept by the Yankees in the ALDS.
Baldelli is the fourth Twins manager to be named Manager of the Year, joining Tom Kelly (1991), Ron Gardenhire (2010), and Paul Molitor (2017). He's the eighth manager ever to win the award in his first year at the helm.
Baldelli and Boone each received 13 of the 30 first-place votes. Baldelli received more second-place votes (13-9), however, which gave him the award. Boone was left off four ballots entirely. Baldelli was omitted from two.
Cash received three first-place votes and Astros manager A.J. Hinch received one. Athletics manager Bob Melvin finished fourth in the voting behind Baldelli, Boone, and Cash. Indians manager Terry Francona also received Manager of the Year votes.
The full voting results are available at the BBWAA's site. As a reminder, these are regular season awards. Ballots are due after the end of the regular season and before the postseason.