Three Reasons Why Miami Marlins' Skip Schumaker is a Dark Horse Manager of the Year Contender

A few surprise teams have a legitimate chance to shock the baseball world by earning a postseason berth. Chief amongst these is the upstart Miami Marlins. 
Cincinnati Reds v Miami Marlins
Cincinnati Reds v Miami Marlins / Jasen Vinlove/Miami Marlins/GettyImages
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In addition to overcoming these significant hurdles, the MLB veteran-turned-skipper has also been a part of several key transactions. He, alongside the club's front office, has made significant contributions to set up the franchise for success.

First and foremost, Schumaker was a part of the managerial team that executed the trade for All-Star, Batting Average Champion, and franchise cornerstone Luis Arraez. Even casual Marlins fans know how valuable the 26-year-old infielder has been. But for the uninitiated, here are a few absurd stats:

- Arraez is on pace to be the first player to hit .370 since Ichiro in 2006.
- Arraez leads the league with 15.43 at-bats per strikeout. The next highest in baseball is Jose Ramirez with 8.61.
- Arraez has stuck out just 28 times this season. For reference, MLB's second-best hitter (for average) Freddie Freeman has struck out 88 times. MLB's strikeout leader is Kyle Schwarber with 151 whiffs.

We could go on and on listing absurd stats for the Fins' star. But, suffice to say, he has made a massive impact since his arrival. While General Manager Kim Ng and others in the front office certainly deserve their fair share of credit, Schumaker was very much a part of the process. And this hasn't been his only difference-making transaction.

Trade deadline acquisitions David Robertson, Jake Burger, and Josh Bell have also kindled hope for a successful postseason run. While Robertson has struggled since his debut for Miami, he is a veteran releiver with a solid track record. Expect him to anchor the bullpen down the stretch.

Bell, on the other hand, was a deadline steal that has the potential to be a middle-of-the-order bat. While fans should not expect a return to his All-Star form, the veteran first baseman is a significant upgrade in the infield.