Ranking All 30 MLB Managers Based on Their Playing Careers

30. Mike Shildt, Cardinals

Shildt never played in a minor league system. No other information could be obtained except he played college baseball at UNC Asheville.

29. Luis Rojas, Mets

The newly introduced Mets manager who is related to baseball great Felipe Alou only played in 2 seasons in the GCL. He was an IF/OF during his time in the Expos system.

28. Derek Shelton, Pirates

He only played in 2 seasons, reaching as high as A ball. In his playing career, he played catcher. He was good in his limited time, though.

27. Joe Maddon, Angels

Another catcher, Maddon reached as high as A ball playing in the minors for 4 years. He was primarily in the California Angels organization.

26. Jayce Tingler, Padres

In his 4 years playing, he reached as high as AA playing center field in the Blue Jays organization. He was good in his time in the minors, but he had no potential.

25. Brian Snitker, Braves

He was in AAA at one point, so he was almost at the MLB level. But, the catcher never really panned out, and he was in the same organization that he is the manager of now, the Braves.

24. Brandon Hyde, Orioles

He gets the call over Snitker simply because of 1 more year playing pro baseball. A catcher in the White Sox organization who reached as high as AAA, Hyde wasn’t good enough to go to the MLB.

23. Charlie Montoyo, Blue Jays

Montoyo made the MLB, but barely. He only had 5 PA! But he made the most of them, getting 2 hits, one of which was a 2B. At the end of the day, the big leagues are the big leagues.

22. Kevin Cash, Rays

In 641 AB, Cash managed a -3.1 WAR with the Blue Jays playing catcher. Hey, he did make the MLB so props to him, but that WAR isn’t looking very nice.

21. Rick Renteria, White Sox

In 422 AB with his primary team being the Marlins, Renteria was fine. A 2B with a career -0.5 career WAR is a pretty forgettable career. Fortunately for Renteria, he became a manager!

20. Torey Lovullo, Diamondbacks

Another forgettable 2B with 737 career AB, Lovullo had a career -0.9 WAR primarily playing for the Tigers.

19. Terry Francona, Indians

In the second lowest career WAR total on this list, Francona had a -3.0 WAR in 1731 AB in his career primarily with the Expos. The worst part was that he was a 1B.

18. Ron Gardenhire, Tigers

This SS had a career 0.8 WAR, suggesting that he was a mid level bench player throughout his 710 AB career primarily with the New York Mets.

17. Mike Matheny, Royals

The only reason that he’s not at 18 with a career -0.5 WAR total is that he stuck around longer. 3877 AB in the MLB is nothing to be ashamed of.

16. Chris Woodward, Rangers

In his 1706 AB career mainly with the Blue Jays, Woodward had a career 1.1 WAR while playing SS. Thank god he came back as a manager.

15. Bob Melvin, A’s

This catcher had a career 2.5 WAR in 1955 AB with the Orioles. He is probably the most average player on this list, with a solid MLB career.

14. Ron Roenicke, Red Sox

In 1076 AB, Roenicke was an average player. He played outfield with the Dodgers for the majority of his career, but his newly started managing career will be his claim to fame.

13. Scott Servais, Mariners

In 2493 AB with the Astros, Servais was a bench player at best. A catcher who wasn’t good at any one thing, Servais is one of the forgettable ones.

12. Joe Girardi

In 4127 AB, Girardi had a 5.6 career WAR as a catcher mainly with the Cubs. 4127 AB is nothing to be ashamed of, especially at the MLB level.

11. Gabe Kapler, Giants

In his playing career with mainly the Texas Rangers, Kapler had a career 8.7 WAR in 2983 AB as an OF. He will most likely be known for his managing career, though.

10. Dave Roberts, Dodgers

Starting out the Top 10 will be Dodgers OF Dave Roberts. In 2707 career AB, he had a career 9.1 WAR which puts him at a successful MLB career.

9. Aaron Boone, Yankees

A 3B with the Reds, Boone had a career 13.6 WAR in 3871 AB. But when I think of Boone, I think about the Yankees. I wonder why.

8. David Bell, Reds

Another 3B, but this time with the Phillies, Bell had a career 15.2 WAR in 4826 AB. At the end of the day, this is an above average MLB career.

7. David Ross, Cubs

primarily a catcher for the Braves, Ross was a light hitting good fielding catcher. He was traded with Jon Lester to the Cubs, because he was Jon Letser’s catcher of choice. In 2280 career AB, Ross had a career 10.0 WAR.

6. Rocco Baldelli, Twins

What could’ve been! His career was cut short due to injuries, and that’s why he’s so far up here. He was very good when he played, collecting a 10.2 WAR in 1910 AB.

5. Dave Martinez, Nationals

To start out the top 5, I have chosen Dave Martinez. He had a career 19.1 WAR in 5795 AB. It’s not the WAR, but rather the AB that impresses me the most.

4. Bud Black, Rockies

The only pitcher on this list, Black was a successful pitcher during his time in 398 games pitched total. He ended up with a career 20.9 WAR with the Royals as his primary team.

3. Craig Counsell, Brewers

I think that the Black and Counsell could have easily swapped spots, but I’ll give the number 3 spot to Counsell simply because of his advantage in the WAR department. He ended up with a 22.4 career WAR.

2. Dusty Baker, Astros

Primarily playing with the Dodgers, this OF was the second best playing manager. He had a career 37.0 WAR in 7117 AB, leading all managers in AB. If only the person in the number one spot wasn’t a manager.

1. Don Mattingly

Could there have been a more obvious choice for number 1? The all time Yankees great got a total of 42.4 WAR in 7003 AB. Nice work, Don!

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