MLB·MLB Awards

Twins' Baldelli becomes youngest to win manager of the year

Rocco Baldelli of the Minnesota Twins has narrowly beaten out Aaron Boone of the New York Yankees to win AL Manager of the Year.

38-year-old takes honour in 1st year on the job, tops Yankees' Boone for AL award

Minnesota Twins manager Rocco Baldelli is seen addressing the media ahead of a playoff game against the New York Yankees on Oct. 6. (Jim Mone/Associated Press)
Rocco Baldelli of the Minnesota Twins has narrowly beaten out Aaron Boone of the New York Yankees to win AL Manager of the Year.

Both received 13 first-place votes in balloting by the Baseball Writers' Association of America revealed Tuesday night, but Baldelli got more second-place votes in his first year on the job. The 38-year-old is the youngest to win the award.

Baldelli took over a team that won 78 games in 2018 and pushed them to 101 victories and an AL Central title. He worked tightly with Minnesota's analytics-focused front office — a shift from predecessor Paul Molitor, who won this award in 2017 — and oversaw a turnaround propelled by the team's major league record 307 home runs.

On the National League side, Mike Shildt of the St. Louis Cardinals edged out Craig Counsell of the Milwaukee Brewers.

Shildt earned the award in his first full season on the job. Counsell received more first-place votes in balloting by the Baseball Writers' Association of America revealed Tuesday night, but Shildt got more second-place votes and appeared on more ballots.

Shildt teared up upon learning he'd won, saying he was already in an emotional place after his mother died last Wednesday.

Shildt replaced Mike Matheny as Cardinals manager during the 2018 season, and St. Louis has been among baseball's best teams since. The club won 91 games and the NL Central crown this year, ending the franchise's three-year post-season drought.

The 51-year-old Shildt became the first manager of the year who had never played pro ball at any level. Last week, the Cardinals gave him a contract extension through the 2022 season.

Nationals manager Dave Martinez was fifth. Washington won the World Series, but voting concluded before the post-season began.

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