Craig Counsell, Milwaukee Brewers
Only 47-years old, Craig Counsell is slowly turning into one of the better managers in the National League. When he took over for Ron Roenicke during the 2015 season, many saw him as a stopgap before they hire their long-term solution at manager, but he has become the right man in charge.
The Brewers played very well under Counsell last season, racking up 86 wins, and finishing ten games over .500. While he has a 220-241 record in his tenure with the team, he took a pretty mediocre team to a better record than anybody could have expected last season.
The 2018 Brewers should have a solid lineup this season, as they added both Christian Yelich and Lorenzo Cain to their outfield this offseason. This could be a team that wins 90 games in 2018, thanks to Counsell’s great leadership in the dugout, and his wonderful way with the players.
The NL Central is a tough one to navigate, and the Chicago Cubs should be solid again this season. Still, this team is on the brink of being a perennial playoff contender, and Counsell should feel very secure in his job security going into this season.
Milwaukee needs to get good pitching this season if they hope to challenge the Cubbies, as they have a lineup that can challenge anybody. Counsell was a scrappy player during his Major League career, and he has brought that same attitude to his new role as manager.