The Cleveland Guardians will be handing the keys to their clubhouse and dugout to Stephen Vogt.
Vogt is a former player who retired in 2022.
He got a coaching gig and was praised for his performance in that role, but he has been an excellent managerial prospect ever since he was a minor leaguer and showed a burning desire to come up with strategies, learn about pitching and bullpen management, and other things a skipper usually does.
The Guardians are giving him the chance to replace Terry Francona at the helm.
Matt Forman, executive vice president and assistant general manager, explained why the organization decided to go with Vogt in a recent media appearance via Bally Sports Cleveland.
Matt Forman, executive vice president and assistant general manager of the @CleGuardians, joined @AlPawlowski and @JLEWFifty on Guardians Report this week to discuss the managerial hiring process and what ultimately drew the organization to Stephen Vogt.#ForTheLand pic.twitter.com/yt7DcPEixc
— Bally Sports Cleveland (@BallySportsCLE) December 15, 2023
“We started with a list of about 50 candidates through trusted contacts across the game, trying to compile a reference profile of each candidate; and from there we started to whittle things down over time,” he said.
They liked what Vogt had to offer despite his inexperience.
“We tried to identify someone with three primary characteristics: a caring connector, a collaborative partner, and a self-confident learner, and Stephen embodied all those things. The most consistent thing we heard about him was about what a great teammate he was,” Forman explained.
Vogt played 10 seasons in the majors as a catcher.
He was a two-time MLB All-Star, a World Series champ with the Atlanta Braves in 2021, and his coaching experience is limited to a season as the Seattle Mariners bullpen and quality control coach in 2023.
Now, the stakes are higher, but he has shown the willingness to learn and the desire to build a positive clubhouse environment.