WASHINGTON – As recognition for overseeing an organization that outperformed expectations by winning 91 games and finishing one victory shy of advancing to the World Series, Yankees general manager, The Catholic University of America 1989 graduate and former Cardinal second baseman Brian Cashman was selected as Baseball America's 2017 Major League Executive of the Year.
The publication noted Cashman's prowess in the front office as a pivotal part of the club's success. His young Yankees club took the American League East pennant race down to the final weekend of the regular season against the Red Sox.
Additionally, New York's eight domestic Minor League clubs produced the sport's best winning percentage at .602.
"Brian plays a crucial role in our success, and I've known for quite some time how fortunate we are to have him leading our baseball operations department," Yankees managing general partner Hal Steinbrenner said in a statement. "He cares deeply about this franchise and our fans, and he skillfully navigates the many challenges that come with holding the position he does in the media capital of the world."
Cashman, 50, has held his post as the Yankees' general manager since 1998 and is the second-longest tenured GM in team history.
The Yanks' most recent push to success can be attributed to newcomers first baseman Greg Bird and right-hander Luis Severino were promoted to the Major Leagues in 2015, and continued this season as catcher Gary Sanchez and outfielder Aaron Judge provided impact performances on the game's biggest stage.
Cashman was a four-year starter and leadoff hitter for Catholic University from 1985-1989 and set the program record for most hits in a season while in Brookland. He was quoted in the New York Times just a few seasons ago as refusing to look down the third-base line to head coach Ross Natoli in fear of seeing the "take sign."
"I had trouble with secondary pitches," he said. "If the first pitch of the game was a fastball, I would jump on it and hammer it, opposite of the approach I have as a general manager. I like guys with high on-base percentages," said Cashman.
His approach as a GM has certainly paid off for his club as evidenced by his latest accomplishment.
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