Long-time Nevada Speeders General Manager Scott Dummler was voted the top GM of 2018 by his peers, it was announced today.
Dummler led the Speeders to their first playoff appearance since 2011, and giving them their best win-percentage finish since 2009.
The Speeders ended 2017 in turmoil, one of the lowest budget teams, with attendance barely over 1.5 million fans and one of the smallest payrolls in the league at $81 million.
But during the 2017-2018 offseason, Dummler diligently re-tooled the franchise and made some key acquisitions, including closer Nate Kremer, Boston slugger Narushi Ohata, inking a deal that lured Jonas Reyes back from free agency, and most importantly, signing international free agent left fielder Chitoji Yamada to a huge $11 million deal that brought his talent to the Speeders roster.
After a hot start, Dummler doubled down on the Speeders success and crafted a deal to grab the California Tidals’ biggest talent, first baseman Jim Lahey. It was a mammoth deal that cost the Speeders five players, including OSA #61 prospect Ryen Pellerin and two promising AA-level arms. Lahey came over, along with a rookie-level 21-year-old, in the largest deal of 2018.
Lahey was quick to make an impact, scoring 35 runs, 15 homers, and 44 RBIs, batting out of the DH role.
The Speeders 63-37 record was the best in the American Eagle League, earning them the top seed in the playoffs. Despite a number of injuries to key players, including pitchers Reyes, Joe Niceley, and Shi-min Chaim, the Speeders put forth their best effort through the year and into the postseason.
Ultimately, however, the Denver Danger prevailed and beat the Speeders in the Elimination Round, 3-1.
Dummler garnered 3 1st place votes, and 1 2nd place vote for a total of 18 points.
Danny Desrochers, of the Bull Cup champion Montreal Metros, and Brendan Burke of the Minneapolis Ravens, tied for second place with 15 points each. Desrochers had 2 1st place votes in his debut season managing in the Bull League. His steady hand and valuable contributions kept Montreal in the division lead for much of the year, and his players did the rest in the postseason.
For Burke, in his 2nd season managing, the transition of moving the Ravens from Jacksonville to Minneapolis went smoothly under his tutelage, and he crafted a pitching-dominant team that had enough offensive pop to deliver a playoff appearance, where his Ravens were eventually defeated by Danny’s Metros in the LLCS.
Also collecting votes were Dylan Maccarone (Ohio), Brandon Popper (St. Petersburg), Lawrence Tabachnick (Norfolk), and the recently retired Troy Vogel (Miami).