MLB Awards: 2017 National League Manager of the Year

ATLANTA, GA - JUNE 25: Hernan Perez
ATLANTA, GA - JUNE 25: Hernan Perez /
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1. Craig Counsell: Milwaukee Brewers

The Milwaukee Brewers should not have been in MLB postseason contention this year. And yet, heading into the final week of the season, there they were.

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This performance came despite Milwaukee ranking 10th in OPS, giving nearly 300 plate appearances to Eric Sogard. Eric Thames and Domingo Santana were the Brewers best hitters, as players like Jonathan Villar fell back to Earth. On the pitching side, the Brewers managed to get career years from Chase Anderson and Jimmy Nelson. Zach Davies tied for second in the NL in wins, but was roughly league average for most of the year.

Guiding Milwaukee to this impressive finish was third year manager Craig Counsell. The Brewers have improved every year with him at the helm, and improved by 13 games over last season. He has certainly been able to maximize the talent he has on the roster.

Although the Brewers missed their chance to unseat the Cubs this year, it could be the start of a rebirth of Brewers baseball. With some intriguing young talent in the majors, and in the upper minors, Milwaukee could become a contender moving forward. Having a bright young manager like Counsell will help the Brewers maximize their potential.

Next: 2017 AL Manager of the Year ballot

No one expected the Milwaukee Brewers to contend. In getting the Brewers to the precipice of the postseason, Craig Counsell deserves the National League Manager of the Year award.