All 30 MLB managers, ranked
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All 30 MLB managers, ranked

There is baseball to be played in MLB eventually in 2022, and managers still have a large role in the success and failure of their teams. Here's a look at all 30 MLB managers from top to bottom entering the season.

 
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1. Kevin Cash, Tampa Bay Rays

Kevin Cash, Tampa Bay Rays
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If there were any doubts about Cash's ability as a manager, they were likely erased last year. Despite several prominent offseason losses like Blake Snell and Charlie Morton, along with the in-season injury to Tyler Glasnow, the Rays finished first place in the AL East for the second consecutive season, reaching 100 wins. It's not clear if Cash or the ballyhooed Rays front office deserve more credit, but the Rays continue to stay on the cutting edge with their on-field tactics, including the opener, quick hooks, platoons, and bullpen handling. Tampa Bay's consistent overachievement speaks for itself.

 
Terry Francona, Cleveland Guardians
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Francona has long been seen as one of the best and most respected at his craft with 21 years of managerial experience between three organizations. He has frequently made his team overachievers, and led the Red Sox to their history World Series victory in 2004. More recently, Francona had seven consecutive winning seasons in Cleveland before needing to step away for much of 2021 due to health issues. Cleveland has reason to believe they will rebound in 2022 now that Francona is back in the saddle.

 
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3. A.J. Hinch, Detroit Tigers

A.J. Hinch, Detroit Tigers
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If there were any doubts about Hinch's managerial prowess after his tenure in Houston, they were erased with his performance in Detroit last year. Hinch's 77-win season seems unimpressive, but the Tigers clearly overachieved with a young team after posting a sub-.400 win percentage in four consecutive years. Hinch is proving again that he's the perfect man to develop a young team with front office experience, patience, and new school thinking. With a loaded farm system, the Tigers could be set to contend soon under Hinch and perhaps repeat the ascent that Houston showed under him.

 
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4. Alex Cora, Boston Red Sox

Alex Cora, Boston Red Sox
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Cora remains near the top of MLB managers with the success he's seen in three seasons. He led the Red Sox to a World Series title in his first season quite unexpectedly and brought them back to the playoffs last year after a year away from the game. He's successfully married the new school managerial methods with an old school approach developed from his long career as an MLB player.

 
Craig Counsell, Milwaukee Brewers
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Counsell's resume seems to get better and better, seven seasons into managing the Brewers. He led the team to their second NL Central title under his watch last season, going a long way in developing aces Brandon Woodruff, Corbin Burnes, and Freddy Peralta while also mostly keeping them off the injured list. Just as impressive was mixing and matching with a lineup that had several in-season decisions and saw many of its most expensive names like Christian Yelich have down years. Milwaukee is set up very well for the near future with Counsell guiding them.

 
Bob Melvin, San Diego Padres
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Melvin garnered respect as one of the top managers in MLB during his 11 seasons with the A's, leading the small market squad to six playoff appearances. His teams seemed to overachieve with a combination of managerial consistency, forward-thinking tactics, and opportunistic substitutions. Thus, the addition by the Padres was seen as a coup after San Diego's disappointing 2021 seasons, but only time will tell if Melvin can repeat his success.

 
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7. Tony La Russa, Chicago White Sox

Tony La Russa, Chicago White Sox
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La Russa shocked the baseball world when he came out of retirement to return as the White Sox manager in 2021. He had last been in a dugout in 2011 with the Cardinals, and the long time away showed in several early-season managerial blemishes. From all media reports, his team still held him in high regard, and La Russa guided the White Sox to 93 wins and first place in the AL Central. La Russa's six World Series appearances and three titles speak for themselves, but he's not ahead of the game like he was decades ago.

 
Dave Roberts, Los Angeles Dodgers
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Should Roberts receive more credit for leading the Dodgers to the playoffs in six consecutive seasons, or blame for winning only one World Series during that time? LA is arguably in the era of a dynasty with a .622 regular-season winning percentage and three World Series appearances since Roberts was hired in 2016, but he's been criticized on multiple occasions for his game management in the playoffs.

 
Joe Maddon, Los Angeles Angels
Kamil Krzaczynski / USA Today Sports Images

Maddon's legacy has taken a hit since going to the Angels in 2020. He helped lead the Rays out of futility over nine seasons before a historic World Series victory for the Cubs, helping popularize defensive shifts. However, Maddon seemed to wear out his welcome at the end of his Cubs tenure, and his Angels teams have unraveled over the last two years under off-field issues and on-field injuries.

 
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10. Charlie Montoyo, Toronto Blue Jays

Charlie Montoyo, Toronto Blue Jays
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The Jays players are clearly fond of Montoyo, but he's made a living coming up just short over the last two years. The team missed the playoffs last season despite a talented club that won 91 games during the regular season, but it's tough to find qualms with the development of any of the team's high upside youngsters. The front office has given Montoyo the tools he needs to succeed again in 2022, replacing Robbie Ray with Kevin Gausman and bringing back one of the most impressive young cores in the game.

 
Gabe Kapler, San Francisco Giants
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Kapler didn't make many fans in two years as Philadelphia's manager, looking ill-prepared at times. The experience has clearly helped in San Francisco, and Kapler led his team to an improbable 107-game, first-place finish in the NL West last season. Kapler was able to get the most out of a veteran roster that looked to be on the downside of their careers prior to 2021, and the coaching staff that Kapler has helped build has made a measurable difference in player performance. The Giants are set to regress this season after several player losses and career years, but fans have reason to be excited about Kapler's now proven player development skills.

 
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12. Dusty Baker, Houston Astros

Dusty Baker, Houston Astros
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Baker has found success in multiple eras, and the constant has been how he garners the respect of his players. He advanced to his second World Series as a manager, though he also fell short for the second time. Still, Baker did a great job guiding the Astros through challenges over the last two years and has done so while taking a more new-school approach from the front office. Baker has now managed five different teams, with a winning record during the regular season for four of them.

 
Brian Snitker, Atlanta Braves
Brett Davis / USA Today Sports Images

Snitker finally earned his shot as an MLB manager at age 60 in 2016, and he's made the most of it. The baseball lifer has helped develop the Braves from the "team of the future" into the best team in baseball, winning the World Series in 2021. That championship was made more impressive by all of the new players the Braves seamlessly integrated as they tried to replace injured superstar Ronald Acuna Jr. Snitker receives criticism from the sabermetrics crowd, but it's difficult to find blemishes with his track record, including four consecutive NL East titles.

 
Buck Showalter, New York Mets
Kim Klement / USA Today Sports Images

Welcome back, Buck! After three seasons away from the game, Showalter is set for one of the biggest challenges of his 20-year managerial career with the Mets. Showalter has regularly impressed with his managerial tactics over his long MLB career, and players have usually sang his praises. The Mets squad that he inherits has huge expectations after ownership's offseason spending spree, and Showalter has a history in the market after managing the Yankees in the 90s.

 
Rocco Baldelli, Minnesota Twins
Kim Klement / USA Today Sports Images

Baldelli came on board with a full head of steam in 2019, leading the Twins to consecutive AL Central titles, including a 101-win season in his first season. However, things changed last year. All of Minnesota's offseason moves seemed to go wrong, and Baldelli couldn't find the right buttons to push, finishing fifth place in a mediocre division. Baldelli's managerial skills will now really be tested with a squad that's much younger.

 
Aaron Boone, New York Yankees
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Boone started his managerial career off with a bang, leading the Yankees to back-to-back 100-plus win seasons. He's found the job more difficult over the last two seasons and also received more criticism. The team failed to win a playoff game last year in spite of very high expectations, even as they saw healthy seasons from the oft-injured Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton. Boone's feet would have probably been held to the fire by now under George Steinbrenner, and he could even be approaching judgment day under more conservative ownership with son Hal Steinbrenner if the Yanks are unable to reemerge as elite soon.

 
Joe Girardi, Philadelphia Phillies
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Girardi was often cited with helping his teams overachieve while with the Marlins and Yankees, but his early Phillies tenure has gone another way. The Phillies are two games believe .500 over his two seasons despite massive spending and an aggressive front office, with Girardi doing little to stop the bleeding with the team's futile pitching staff. He enters a big third season in a tough NL East division.

 
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18. David Ross, Chicago Cubs

David Ross, Chicago Cubs
Kamil Krzaczynski / USA Today Sports Images

The Cubs knew they would be a team in transition eventually when they hired Ross from the media in 2020. He's had some growing pains, but the former catcher has guided the team while seemingly maintaining the respect of his players. It shouldn't be lost that 2021 was a massive disappointment for the Cubs with 91 losses, but Ross wasn't exactly given the talent to do his best work with a pitching staff that was in shambles from the beginning.

 
Scott Servais, Seattle Mariners
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Despite just falling short of a playoff berth, the Mariners were one of the biggest overachievers of 2021 under Servais' watch. He has led the organization out of down years to win 90 games last year despite poor run differential and has now put together three winning seasons in six years. With multiple top prospects set to arrive in 2022, Servais has to match much higher expectations.

 
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20. David Bell, Cincinnati Reds

David Bell, Cincinnati Reds
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Bell has led the Reds to winning seasons in two of his three years, yet they don't have a playoff win to show for it. Ownership has given Bell plenty of talent to work with, including a loaded 2020 ballclub, but the Reds have fallen well short. That's certainly not all on Bell, as the team has had their share of roster flaws, but there's also nothing noticeable that he's done to make the team significantly better. With the Reds possibly shedding payroll this offseason, Bell's status could be called more into question.

 
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21. Bud Black, Colorado Rockies

Bud Black, Colorado Rockies
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A former pitching coach, Black has long been seen as a pitching whisperer, which makes him a great fit in the difficult confines of Colorado. Unfortunately, his shortcomings have also been on display in Colorado as a stubborn manager who hasn't favored young players at a time when the Rockies are in a clear rebuild. Black still deserves credit for leading the Rox to back-to-back winning seasons in his first two years, but there are questions about whether he's the right man for the job as he approaches his sixth season with the team and 15th year as an MLB manager.

 
Dave Martinez, Washington Nationals
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The Nats have been Jekyll and Hyde during Martinez's tenure, emerging from a slow start to win the World Series in 2019 but otherwise greatly disappointing in his four seasons. The organization was forced to wave the white flag last year after a bevy of injuries and poor performances, and it's difficult to have any optimism in Washington beyond Juan Soto. Martinez's World Series victory bought him some time, but the state of the franchise isn't great.

 
Don Mattingly, Miami Marlins
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After five seasons with the Dodgers, Mattingly's six years in Miami haven't exactly been smooth. His only winning season was the abbreviated 2020 season, and he's guided a rebuild that has made very little progress despite a bevy of pitching talent. A cushy relationship with team president Derek Jeter has likely helped Mattingly remain on board, but it's difficult to identify anything specific that Mattingly has done during his time with the fish to change team results significantly.

 
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24. Torey Lovullo, Arizona Diamondbacks

Torey Lovullo, Arizona Diamondbacks
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Lovullo's early managerial career got off to a very strong start in Arizona with three consecutive winning seasons, but the team has been in a cellar over the last two years. Injuries played a big role, but the Diamondbacks lost 110 games under Lovullo's watch in 2021, and he's likely on the hot seat. Lovullo has shown a willingness to adjust and be more forward-thinking, and pitching coach Brent Strom represents a difference-making addition.

 
Mike Matheny, Kansas City Royals
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Matheny wore out his welcome in St. Louis during his seventh season with a team that seemed to underachieve, and his performance over his first two seasons in KC has been similarly underwhelming. While the Royals were one of the most aggressive teams in baseball under his watch last season, they underachieved after a busy offseason of moves. Matheny's stubbornness in his lineup cards and slow adjustments haven't given him many endorsements from fans.

 
Chris Woodward, Texas Rangers
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Woodward has shown off some old-school ways in his three seasons as manager, becoming very liberal with pitch counts and displaying aggressiveness on the basepaths. The tactics haven't done much for the results, as the rebuilding squad diminished to 102 losses last year. The front office has already been aggressive this offseason with the additions of Marcus Semien, Corey Seager, and Jon Gray, so it will be interesting to see how Woodward adjusts.

 
Brandon Hyde, Baltimore Orioles
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Even three years into his tenure, it's hard to judge Hyde's track record with what he's been given to work with in Baltimore.  He's a rough 131-253 during the regular season, with Baltimore far from competitive in one of the league's toughest divisions. At the same time, it's hard to see where the organization has taken strides at the MLB level under his watch.

 
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28. Derek Shelton, Pittsburgh Pirates

Derek Shelton, Pittsburgh Pirates
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Like the Orioles' Brandon Hyde, Shelton has been a sort of puppet manager in a complete rebuild. The Pirates have been among the worst teams in baseball over the last two years, though their lack of spending or top prospects in the majors made those results a foregone conclusion. The 2022 season will be a huge one for Shelton's future with several top prospects finally arriving in Pittsburgh, led by shortstop Oneil Cruz.

 
NR. Mark Kotsay, Oakland Athletics
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Kotsay enters his first season as manager after the A's let Bob Melvin walk and promoted from within. There are indications this could be a rebuilding year for the team, and Kotsay has an impressive track record as a peak performer in college and MLB, also cutting his teeth in roles as a hitting coach, bench coach, and quality control coach.

 
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NR. Oliver Marmol, St. Louis Cardinals

NR. Oliver Marmol, St. Louis Cardinals
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The Cardinals shocked the baseball world by firing proven manager Mike Shildt after last season and promoting the young Marmol from bench coach. The organization's endorsement of Marmol was clear, but the 35-year-old's time leading the team has come much sooner than anticipated.

Seth Trachtman is a fantasy sports expert and diehard Kansas City Chiefs fan. He doesn't often Tweet, but when he does, you can find him on Twitter @sethroto.

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