1. ToreyLovullo, Diamondbacks
2. Bud Black, Rockies
3. Craig Counsell, Brewers
Lovullo, the first-year manager, and Mike Hazen, the first-year GM, brought their Boston-based run prevention wisdom to the desert. They non-tendered bat-first catcher Welington Castillo, replaced him with defense-first catchers Chris Iannetta and Jeff Mathis, hired Dan Haren to help with game-planning pitching strategies, and traded shortstop Jean Segura for starting pitcher Taijuan Walker. The emphasis on run prevention earned Arizona a wild card home game and an improvement of at least 21 wins.
Last year the Diamondbacks posted a franchise-worst 5.09 ERA. This year? A franchise-best 3.67 mark.
Under Lovullo, Arizona also is one of the best baserunning teams in baseball. They rank second in taking the extra base (45%) while making the fewest outs on the bases (35).