2022 MLB Awards: Top 5 American League Manager of the Year Candidates – Sports Illustrated

With Major League Baseball award season coming up, here’s a look at our top five American League Manager of the Year candidates for the 2022 MLB season.
Last week, we took a look at our top American League Rookie of the Year and National League rookie of the year candidates.
As part of our 2022 Major League Baseball award selections, here's my top American League Manager of the Year candidates:
5) Aaron Boone, New York Yankees (99-63)
Through the first three months of the season, Aaron Boone was well on his way to winning his first American League Manager of the Year Award, since taking over as manager of the New York Yankees before the 2018 season.
At the All-Star break, the Yankees had baseball's best record at 64-28. They were on pace to win 113 games.
The Yankees were an average team in the second half of the season, going 35-35 after the All-Star Break.
Though Boone's club didn't finish as strong as it started, the Yankees played well enough to win their second American League East division title since 2012.
4) Scott Servais, Seattle Mariners (90-72)
As the leader of the Seattle Mariners, Scott Servais played an integral role in shedding the franchise's culture of mediocrity, transforming the club from the hunters to the hunted. The Mariners made their first trip to the postseason since 2001.
21 years later, Servais has his club back in the postseason and ready to push forward to a new chapter in Mariners history.
3) Brandon Hyde, Baltimore Orioles (83-79)
The Orioles entered 2022 without a winning season since 2016, the same year the club last made it to the postseason. The Orioles had lost 108 games or more in their last three full-length, 162-game seasons. There were little to no expectations for 2022. The main hope from fans was that the club wouldn't lose 100 again and would take a couple of steps in the right direction.
In 2022, the Orioles won 83 games and found themselves contending for an American League playoff spot all season long, until the final weeks of the regular season.
Now, the Orioles have a promising young core to go with baseball's best farm system and money to spend this offseason, if they choose to. The Orioles can compete for an American League East division title in 2023. Like Servais, Hyde played an important part in shedding a culture of losing and pushing the team forward towards contention.
2) Dusty Baker, Houston Astros (106-56)
After losing star shortstop Carlos Correa to free agency, the Astros didn't miss a beat, winning eleven more games without Correa (106) than they did with Correa (95) in 2021. Toothpick in mouth, Dusty won more games in 2022 than he had ever won in a previous season, since beginning his managerial career in 1993, nearly 29 years ago. Love them or hate them, the Astros keep chugging along as Dusty tries to win his first World Series as a manager.
1) Terry Francona, Cleveland Guardians (92-70)
In Cleveland's first season as the 'Guardians,' the club mirrored the 1989 Cleveland Indians in the fictional movie Major League, in some regards.
Nobody, and I mean, nobody, was picking Cleveland to win the American League Central in the preseason. The only question about Cleveland at the time was, will they break .500?
Francona got the youngest club in Major League Baseball — at an average age of 26.1 years-old — with the sport's third-lowest payroll, to inspire hope, and win 92 games en route to their fourth AL Central division title in seven years. Francona's club plays a rare, throwback brand of baseball, leading the league in contact-rate with the league's lowest strikeout-rate, while hitting the second-lowest amount of home runs in MLB.
Next month, Francona will likely take home American League Manager of the Year honors for the third time in his career.
More of our MLB Awards Selections:
For more from Jack Vita, follow him on Twitter @JackVitaShow, and subscribe to his podcast, the Jack Vita Show, available on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, YouTube, Facebook, Amazon, iHeartRadio, and wherever podcasts are found.
Jack Vita is a baseball writer for Fastball on Sports Illustrated/FanNation, and host of the Jack Vita Show, a popular sports podcast available on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, YouTube and wherever podcasts are found. Jack is a graduate of Valparaiso University. You can follow him on Twitter @JackVitaShow.


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