New York (AFP) – Arizona’s Torey Lovullo and Minnesota’s Paul Molitor were named Major League Baseball’s top managers on Tuesday in voting by a media panel.
Lovullo won the National League Manager of the Year award while Molitor captured the honor for the American League.
The Diamondbacks went 93-69 under Lovullo in 2017, winning 24 more games than the season before, and reached the playoffs for the first time since 2011, beating Colorado in the wildcard game before losing to the Los Angeles Dodgers in the division semi-finals.
Molitor guided the Twins to an 85-77 record this year after they went 59-103 in 2016. Minnesota lost the AL wildcard game to the New York Yankees.
Lovullo received 111 total points and 18 of 30 first-place votes in media voting to defeat runner-up Dave Roberts of the Dodgers with 55 points and Colorado’s Bud Black on 43.
Lovullo, a bench coach for the Boston Red Sox before joining the D-backs this season, joined Bob Melvin (2007) and Kirk Gibson (2011) as the only Arizona managers to win the award.
Molitor became the first Minnesota manager honored since Ron Gardenhire in 2010, the Twins’ most recent prior playoff campaign. The other AL top manager from Minnesota was Tom Kelly in 1991.
Lovullo is only the eighth manager to win the award in his first full season guiding a major league club, but the fourth in a row after Roberts last year, Jeff Banister in the AL for the Texas Rangers in 2015 and Washington’s Matt Williams in 2014.
Molitor became only the second Baseball Hall of Fame player to become a Manager of the Year after Frank Robinson, who took the AL award for Baltimore in 1989.