Minnesota Twins manager Rocco Baldelli was named American League Manager of the Year on Tuesday, following his first season as a big-league coach.
Baldelli narrowly beat out Aaron Boone of the New York Yankees for the honor. 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.
Baldelli becomes the fourth Twins manager to win the award, joining Tom Kelly (1991), Ron Gardenhire (2010), and Paul Molitor (2017).
Mike Shildt of the St. Louis Cardinals has edged out Craig Counsell of the Milwaukee Brewers to win NL Manager of the Year.