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Who is “the best major-league managing prospect” in America?

Aug 30, 2011, 2:00 PM EDT

mystery man

I don’t have a definitive answer to that, but Michael Arace of my hometown Columbus Dispatch says that it’s Mike Sarbaugh, manager of the Indians AAA team, the Columbus Clippers:

In eight seasons since Sarbaugh started managing, his teams have made the playoffs every year save one … Sarbaugh has won championships in the New York-Penn, Carolina, Eastern and International leagues … It is almost as if you can give Sarbaugh nine lawn chairs and they will contend.

Obviously winning in the minor leagues is a different deal than it is in the majors. Especially at AAA, where the team can be used as either a talent repository or a holding cell for AAAA players or both, depending on the whim of the organization.  But you gotta measure it somehow, and winning is not a bad starting point. Columbus has a 13-game lead in their division.

The only thing giving me pause: the last time a Clippers manager was touted as the next big major league managing prospect it was … Trey Hillman.

But at the very least you can get to know Mr. Sarbaugh if you aren’t already acquainted.

  1. danandcasey - Aug 30, 2011 at 2:37 PM

    His winning percentage as a manager at each level in the minors is > .500. However, it appears that his only major league playing experience is as a Pirate shortstop in the movie Major League II.

  2. Old Gator - Aug 30, 2011 at 3:36 PM

    Wally Backman. Some day some team will figure that out and benefit hugely by it.

  3. holliswatson - Aug 30, 2011 at 4:10 PM

    I’m a La Russa guy, so I’m not in any hurry for the Cards to get a new skipper. But I’d love to see Terry Pendleton manning the dugout at Busch whenever TLR hangs ‘em up.

  4. bleedgreen - Aug 30, 2011 at 6:17 PM

    Mickey Morandini clearly.

  5. natstowngreg - Aug 30, 2011 at 6:19 PM

    Let us know if his name gets mentioned in the off-season Manager Musical Chairs game. If he gets mentioned, then we’ll know that one or more GMs think he’s MLB manager material.

  6. tacklemeelmo - Aug 30, 2011 at 6:42 PM

    Matt Walbeck

  7. leftywildcat - Aug 30, 2011 at 9:34 PM

    Ryne Sandberg, anyone?

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