MLB Awards: 2017 American League Manager of the Year

DETROIT, MI - AUGUST 11: Manager Paul Molitor
DETROIT, MI - AUGUST 11: Manager Paul Molitor /
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1. Paul Molitor: Minnesota Twins

The old axiom is that the great players cannot make great managers, as they cannot teach natural ability. Well, Paul Molitor had a Hall of Fame career, and had an excellent season as the Minnesota Twins manager.

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In 2015, the Twins came close to slipping into the postseason, making them a trendy pick heading into 2016. Instead, everything that could have gone wrong did, as they had a 59-103 record. Given that performance, expectations were low for the Twins heading into this season.

Minnesota had a back and forth season. In July, they looked like a potential contender, and acquired Jaime Garcia to help for the stretch run. Then, after a losing streak, Garcia was traded after making just one start. Closer Brandon Kintzler was traded to the Nationals. Bartolo Colon was brought on board in a desperate attempt to find stability in the rotation. And somehow, it worked.

The Twins ended up finishing as the second Wild Card team, marking the first time in MLB history that a team that lost 100 games made the postseason the following year. They made it despite having only two starters that were better than average, and a run differential that was negative heading into September. The job that Molitor did to coax this ragtag group into the postseason was nothing short of amazing.

Next: Breaking down the NL Rookie of the Year award

Paul Molitor deserves to be the American League Manager of the Year. The Minnesota Twins turnaround may be the best performance of any manager this year.