Texas Rangers manager Jeff Banister has been named American League Manager of the Year. Banister was hired by the Rangers October 16, 2014 after the Rangers’ disastrous 2014 season that ended with a 67-95 record. When Banister was hired, nobody would have expected him to turn the Rangers around in just one season, but he did. Banister is the first Rangers manager to win this award since Buck Showalter won it in 2004.
In his first season, Banister led the Rangers to an 88-74 season and won the American League West, but came up short in the first round against Toronto. His first season wasn’t an easy one. The Rangers were without ace pitcher Yu Darvish, who was out recovering from Tommy John surgery before the season even started. Derek Holland went down in the first inning of the home opener. Throughout the season there were numerous issues with the pitching and lots of shuffling. A month into the season, the Rangers were 7-14, and 42-46 by the time the All-Star break arrived, and there was no hope for them. But Banister made sure his players would not go down without a fight, and in the second half of the season, the Rangers went 46-28.
With his first year as manager finishing a whole lot better than critics had predicted, things are going well for Banister. Banister is definitely the man that can take the Rangers back to the World Series, but there’s still a lot of holes to be filled this offseason. Rangers fans are really excited to see what else Banister has in store for the team.