Major League Baseball Midseason Awards: American League

SEATTLE, WA - JULY 22: Aaron Judge
SEATTLE, WA - JULY 22: Aaron Judge /
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HOUSTON, TX – JUNE 09: Manager A.J. Hinch
HOUSTON, TX – JUNE 09: Manager A.J. Hinch /

Manager of the Year: A.J. Hinch

The Astros are far and away the best team in the AL. So that alone makes Hinch a pretty solid choice for this honor. The job that he has done in Houston, however, is even more impressive than his 68-35 record would indicate.

Flashback to 2014. Although the Astros had rebuilt their farm system, the big team was still struggling. They finished the season with a 70-92 mark, and a change had to be made. Enter A.J. Hinch. Right away, things turned around. In Hinch’s rookie season, Houston made the postseason for the first time since 2005, and should have knocked off Kansas City in the ALDS. Hinch deserved Manager of the Year honors, but was snubbed in favor of fellow Texas skipper Jeff Banister.

Next: How the Bucs Should Tackle the Trade Deadline

2016 was a step back, as the Astros failed to make the playoffs. Now, the rebuild is complete. Houston’s 68 wins are 11 more than the next closest AL club (Boston), and it is already apparent that the ‘Stros will be the team to beat in the junior circuit come playoff time.

Hinch should have won this honor in 2015. I would be shocked if he was denied again this year.