As the Cubs try to build from within, Mark Johnson has guided Class-A Kane County to an 86-46 record that’s the best mark in professional baseball.
That effort made Johnson as easy choice for Midwest League Manager of the Year. Monday’s announcement came after the Cougars used 50 players – not including big-league rehab appearances – and lost 15 from their 25-man Opening Day roster.
Kane County won the Western division in the first half and will compete in the playoffs in September.
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This is Johnson’s fourth season managing in the organization, making it a smooth transition for the former big-league catcher who played for the White Sox, Oakland A’s, Milwaukee Brewers and St. Louis Cardinals.
Cubs manager Rick Renteria won this award in 1999, when the Cougars were affiliated with the Florida Marlins.