On Tuesday, the Minnesota Twins announced that slugger Miguel Sano and Paul Molitor have both been named as finalists for major American League postseason honors.
Molitor, one of three finalists for AL Manager of the Year, helped guide the Twins to 83 wins this season, his first as Minnesota’s skipper. The St. Paul native was already named American League Manager of the Year by the Sporting News, which utilized a panel of 27 MLB managers to name its recipient. The other finalists for the official AL Manager of the Year are Texas’ Jeff Banister and Houston’s A.J. Hinch.
The 59-year-old Molitor played for the Twins from 1996-98 and was a seven-time All-Star as a player. He also starred with Milwaukee and Toronto earlier in his playing career.
Sano, one of three finalists for the AL’s Rookie of the Year honor, hit .269 with 18 homers and 52 RBI in 80 games in 2015. Sano’s impressive stat line also included 17 doubles and a .916 OPS. The other finalists for the AL’s top rookie accolades are Cleveland shortstop Francisco Lindor and Houston shortstop Carlos Correa.
The 22-year-old Sano, a native of the Dominican Republic, was utilized almost exclusively as a designated hitter in 2015, but will likely spend time in left field in 2016.