Ranking current MLB managers based on their playing careers
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A stellar playing career doesn't guarantee success as a manager. Consider Ryne Sandberg, the Hall of Fame second baseman who finished 40 games below .500 in less than three seasons leading the Phillies. Hall of Fame skipper Joe McCarthy, meanwhile, won 2,125 games and nine pennants as a manager after never playing in the big leagues.

There's a broad range of playing skills among today's managers, resulting in anything from borderline Hall of Fame careers to zero games played. While it might not impact their ability to manage a game, it's interesting to reflect on how managers fared as players.

Here's how we rank all 30 big-league managers based on their professional playing careers.

1. Don Mattingly, Marlins

GP HR RBI AVG/OBP/SLG WAR
1785 222 1099 .307/.358/.471 40.7

MLB debut: 1982
Highest level: MLB
Position: 1B

A Yankee for his entire playing career, Mattingly is the only skipper on this list to be named MVP, collecting American League honors in 1985. Mattingly, who spent 14 seasons wearing pinstripes, won three Silver Sluggers and nine Gold Gloves to go along with six All-Star selections.

2. Dusty Baker, Astros

GP HR RBI AVG/OBP/SLG WAR
2039 242 1013 .278/.347/.432 37.9

MLB debut: 1968
Highest level: MLB
Position: OF

Baker spent almost two decades playing in the big leagues and won a World Series in 1981 with the Dodgers. The two-time All-Star hit 20-plus home runs six times, including 30 in 1977. He finished fourth in NL MVP voting in 1980 and won a pair of Silver Sluggers.

3. Bud Black, Rockies

W-L IP ERA K WHIP WAR
121-116 2053.1 3.84 1039 1.27 18.2

MLB debut: 1981
Highest level: MLB
Position: LHP

Black threw 32 complete games and 12 shutouts over his 15-year career. He led the AL with a 1.12 WHIP in 1984 while pitching 257 innings, and Black then ended up winning a World Series with the Royals in 1985.

4. David Ross, Cubs

GP HR RBI AVG/OBP/SLG WAR
883 106 314 .229/.316/.423 22.4

MLB debut: 2002
Highest level: MLB
Position: C

The now-43-year-old owns championship rings from his time with the 2013 Red Sox and 2016 Cubs. Ross hit 21 round-trippers in 2006, but he was a backup catcher for the majority of his 15-year career. He became the oldest player to homer in the World Series during Game 7 of the 2016 Fall Classic at age 39.

5. Aaron Boone, Yankees

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GP HR RBI AVG/OBP/SLG WAR
1152 126 555 .263/.326/.425 10.0

MLB debut: 1997
Highest level: MLB
Position: 3B, 1B

Boone wasn't exactly a standout over his 12-year career, but the one-time All-Star produced perhaps the greatest single moment as a player of any current manager. In 2003, he swatted a walk-off home run to propel the Yankees back to the World Series, while also prolonging Boston's postseason misery for another year.

6. David Bell, Reds

GP HR RBI AVG/OBP/SLG WAR
1403 123 589 .257/.320/.396 13.5

MLB debut: 1995
Highest level: MLB
Position: 3B, 2B, SS, 1B

Bell was born into baseball. A third-generation major leaguer, the journeyman infielder played for six teams over 12 seasons, with the bulk of his playing time coming with the Phillies and Mariners. Bell made history in 2004 when he hit for the cycle, joining grandfather Gus Bell to form the only grandfather-grandson tandem to do so.

7. Dave Martinez, Nationals

MLB debut: 1986
Highest level: MLB
Position: OF, 1B

GP HR RBI AVG/OBP/SLG WAR
1919 91 580 .276/.341/.389 18.1

Martinez authored a solid 16-year career before turning to coaching. Throughout stints with nine different teams, he collected 1,599 hits, stole 183 bases, and showed his versatility by playing four different positions.

8. Craig Counsell, Brewers

GP HR RBI AVG/OBP/SLG WAR
1624 42 390 .255/.342/.344 17.6

MLB debut: 1995
Highest level: MLB
Position: 2B, SS, 3B

Counsell's Brewers are scrappy, just like he was as a player over 16 years. The former infielder never hit more than nine homers in a single season and finished with a career .686 OPS, but he was a member of two championship clubs and was named the NLCS MVP in 2001 while with the Diamondbacks.

9. Gabe Kapler, Giants

GP HR RBI AVG/OBP/SLG WAR
1104 82 386 .268/.329/.420 5.4

MLB debut: 1998
Highest level: MLB
Position: OF

The new manager of the Giants put up some respectable numbers as a major leaguer. He finished with a .749 OPS across 12 campaigns and posted an average over .300 twice. Kapler owns a World Series ring from his time with the curse-breaking 2004 Red Sox.

10. Dave Roberts, Dodgers

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GP HR RBI AVG/OBP/SLG SB WAR
832 23 213 .266/.342/.366 243 10.3

MLB debut: 1999
Highest level: MLB
Position: OF

Roberts carved out a 10-year career thanks to his excellence on the basepaths. His 80.73 stolen-base percentage ranks 50th all time, ahead of Kenny Lofton and Roberto Alomar, and just barely behind Rickey Henderson. Roberts stole over 30 bases in five seasons and 40-plus three times, although the steal that made him famous took place in October.

11. Scott Servais, Mariners

MLB debut: 1991
Highest level: MLB
Position: C

GP HR RBI AVG/OBP/SLG WAR
820 63 319 .245/.306/.375 4.9

Servais was largely a backup catcher, only appearing in 100-plus games during three of his 11 big-league seasons. He was the primary catcher for the 1998 Cubs, who earned that year's NL wild card in a one-game playoff. In 1993, while with the Astros, Servais caught Darryl Kile's no-hitter.

12. Mike Matheny, Royals

GP HR RBI AVG/OBP/SLG WAR
1305 67 443 .239/.293/.344 2.8

MLB debut: 1994
Highest level: MLB
Position: C

Before his career ended prematurely due to a string of concussions, Matheny was considered one of the finest defensive catchers of his era. A four-time Gold Glove winner, he twice led NL catchers in total zone runs and is one of only six backstops to make zero errors in a season, according to Baseball Almanac. Matheny still owns the catcher MLB record for consecutive errorless games with 252.

13. Joe Girardi, Phillies

GP HR RBI AVG/OBP/SLG WAR
1277 36 422 .267/.315/.350 5.6

MLB debut: 1989
Highest level: MLB
Position: C

Girardi suited up for four teams across 15 seasons, and while he wasn't much of an offensive threat, the catcher did log more than 10,000 innings.

14. Rocco Baldelli, Twins

Al Messerschmidt / Getty Images Sport / Getty
GP HR RBI AVG/OBP/SLG WAR
519 60 262 .278/.323/.443 8.0

MLB debut: 2003
Highest level: MLB
Position: OF

If not for injuries, the highly touted Baldelli could still be playing. The 38-year-old was the sixth overall pick in the 2000 draft, and he paid dividends shortly after debuting. He hit .289 with a .780 OPS, 43 home runs, and 83 doubles over his first three seasons. After that, he appeared in only 135 games from 2007 to 2010 before retiring.

15. Bob Melvin, Athletics

GP HR RBI AVG/OBP/SLG WAR
692 35 212 .233/.268/.337 2.5

MLB debut: 1985
Highest level: MLB
Position: C

A career backup, Melvin stuck around for 10 seasons mostly because of his glove. His best campaign came in 1987, when he hit 11 homers for the Giants despite posting a .615 OPS, all while also throwing out 43% of would-be base-stealers.

16. Ron Roenicke, Red Sox

GP HR RBI AVG/OBP/SLG WAR
527 17 113 .238/.353/.338 3.6

MLB debut: 1981
Highest level: MLB
Position: OF

Even though he was drafted five times as an amateur, Roenicke never stuck around in the majors. He played in 527 major-league games over parts of eight seasons, appearing as a pinch hitter in 195 of those contests.

17. Chris Woodward, Rangers

GP HR RBI AVG/OBP/SLG WAR
659 33 191 .239/.296/.365 0.7

MLB debut: 1999
Highest level: MLB
Position: SS, 2B, 3B

Woodward's 12 seasons didn't amount to much, but his 2002 campaign is worth mentioning. In 90 games for the Blue Jays, he hit 13 home runs while logging 45 RBIs and four triples, and recording a .797 OPS.

18. Terry Francona, Indians

GP HR RBI AVG/OBP/SLG WAR
707 16 143 .274/.300/.351 -1.7

MLB debut: 1981
Highest level: MLB
Position: 1B, OF

The bulk of Francona's playing career was spent as a utility man who rarely struck out (only 119 strikeouts in 1,827 plate appearances), though his bat was less than potent. His career highlights include helping the Expos earn their lone playoff series win, and pitching a perfect inning for the Brewers in 1989.

19. Torey Lovullo, D-Backs

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GP HR RBI AVG/OBP/SLG WAR
303 15 60 .224/.301/.335 -0.5

MLB debut: 1988
Highest level: MLB
Position: 2B, 1B, 3B, SS, OF

Lovullo was your prototypical "Quad-A" player. Outside of 409 plate appearances with the Angels in 1993, he never did enough to stick in the majors. But he compiled 1,054 hits with a .803 OPS over 11 Triple-A seasons.

20. Rick Renteria, White Sox

GP HR RBI AVG/OBP/SLG WAR
184 4 41 .237/.285/.322 -0.2

MLB debut: 1986
Highest level: MLB
Position: 2B, 3B, SS

Though never a strong player at any level, Renteria gained brief fame as a bench piece and fan favorite for the expansion Marlins in 1993. He hit .351/.402/.473 with runners in scoring position that season, leading fans to dub him "The Secret Weapon."

21. Ron Gardenhire, Tigers

GP HR RBI AVG/OBP/SLG WAR
285 4 49 .232/.277/.296 0.9

MLB debut: 1981
Highest level: MLB
Position: 2B, 3B, SS

Gardenhire produced a .592 OPS as the starting shortstop for the 97-loss Mets in 1982. Perhaps that experience helped him cope with managing last year's 114-loss Tigers.

22. Kevin Cash, Rays

Otto Greule Jr / Getty Images Sport / Getty
GP HR RBI AVG/OBP/SLG WAR
246 12 58 .183/.248/.278 -2.4

MLB debut: 2002
Highest level: MLB
Position: C

Before succeeding Joe Maddon as the Rays' skipper in 2014, Cash was the definition of a backup catcher. He never played more than 61 games in a season and hit under .200 in six of his eight campaigns. However, he still won a World Series with the Red Sox in 2007.

23. Charlie Montoyo, Blue Jays

MLB debut: 1993
Highest level: MLB (4 GP)
Position: 2B, 3B, SS

GP HR RBI AVG/OBP/SLG WAR
1028 38 400 .266/.404/.357 N/A

*- Minor league stats

Montoyo can always brag about being a lifetime .400 hitter in the majors ... across four games with the Expos in 1993. He was respected enough to be tabbed as Vladimir Guerrero's mentor in Montreal's farm system. Today, Montoyo manages the Hall of Famer's son.

24. Brandon Hyde, Orioles

GP HR RBI AVG/OBP/SLG WAR
183 14 101 .256/.375/.400 N/A

MLB debut: N/A
Highest level: Triple-A
Position: C, 1B

The White Sox signed Hyde as an undrafted free agent in 1997, but he only played 16 games above Single-A over five professional seasons.

25. Jayce Tingler, Padres

GP HR RBI AVG/OBP/SLG WAR
389 3 111 .271/.378/.322 N/A

MLB debut: N/A
Highest level: Double-A
Position: OF

Tingler was more successful in college, earning All-Big 12 honors during his senior season at Missouri. He was the Blue Jays' 10th-round draft pick in 2003, but Tingler lasted only four seasons before moving on to the Rangers' front office.

26. Brian Snitker, Braves

GP HR RBI AVG/OBP/SLG WAR
236 3 23 .254/.316/.390 N/A

MLB debut: N/A
Highest level: Triple-A
Position: C, 1B

Though the Cubs drafted him, Snitker's four-year minor-league career was spent in the Braves' system. Atlanta has employed Snitker as a player, coach, or manager at nearly every level of its organization since 1977.

27. Joe Maddon, Angels

Al Messerschmidt / Getty Images Sport / Getty

MLB debut: N/A
Highest level: Single-A
Position: C

GP HR RBI AVG/OBP/SLG WAR
170 5 69 .267/.339/.356 N/A

Maddon has carved out quite a career for himself as a manager, and it's hard to believe he couldn't make it out of Single-A. The three-time Manager of the Year spent four seasons in the minors with the Angels before pivoting to a coaching gig with the organization.

28. Derek Shelton, Pirates

MLB debut: N/A
Highest level: Single-A
Position: C, 1B

GP HR RBI AVG/OBP/SLG WAR
46 1 19 .341/.428/.431 N/A

Pirates fans surely hope Shelton's playing career amounts to a footnote on his resume. The 49-year-old logged two stints in the low minors. As a 21-year-old in Low-A, he showed promising plate discipline with a .482 OBP. Eventually, his lack of pop caught up to him, and Shelton's .773 OPS at Single-A was the end of the line.

T-29. Luis Rojas, Mets

The son of Felipe Alou and half-brother of Moises Alou, Rojas began managing at 25 years old in the Dominican Summer League, working his way up the Mets' coaching ladder. Rojas was promoted after Carlos Beltran's departure from the team following his involvement in the Astros' sign-stealing in 2017.

T-29. Mike Shildt, Cardinals

Shildt famously became the first skipper to win Manager of the Year without ever playing professionally. The 51-year-old played some high school and college ball, but he flamed out early and became a high school coach.

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