The Cleveland Guardians were one of the top teams in the American League this year.
Their excellent performance was somewhat surprising, given that they had missed the playoffs last year and the Chicago White Sox (and even the Minnesota Twins) looked stronger on paper before the season.
But the Guards achieved a lot with that low payroll: they showed the world that you don’t need to have a $250 million roster to make the postseason.
Smart moves and a clear direction, not to mention the right ideas and their execution, can lead a franchise towards a successful campaign.
Under president of baseball operations Chris Antonetti, the Guardians won 92 games and won the AL Central by 11 games.
Their furious September run was something to remember, as was their victory over the Tampa Bay Rays in the first round of the playoffs, the Wild Card Series.
Antonetti was recognized because of his success running the team this year.
“Chris Antonetti, Guardians President of Baseball Operations, voted executive of the year by MLB teams. Cleveland won the AL Central with baseball’s youngest roster and third lowest payroll,” AP’s Tom Withers tweeted.
Chris Antonetti, Guardians President of Baseball Operations, voted executive of the year by MLB teams. Cleveland won the AL Central with baseball’s youngest roster and third lowest payroll.
— Tom Withers (@twithersAP) November 8, 2022
A Unique Brand Of Baseball
They have smart hitters with bat control and plate discipline: they are less vulnerable to strikeouts and can move runners around the bases.
Their offensive production, however, largely depends on what Jose Ramirez can do, and Antonetti extended him before the season.
Antonetti not only promoted several talented players to the majors this year, but he made sure to give them a chance to establish themselves.
Not every team does that, and it’s the difference between a talented, but frustrated prospect and a budding star.