Eno Sarris compiled who he thinks are the best managerial candidates who haven't been managers yet: https://theathletic.com/1302054/
It’s possible that this is a little early to be touting Venable — who was playing as recently as 2016 — as a manager, but it’s also a good time to get out in front and put him on lists for the future. There might not have been a nicer player in the clubhouse when he put together over 3,000 plate appearances for the Padres, and that’s an important skill for a manager who has to interact with the media, the players, and his front office — and keep them all happy.
“He’s a pro’s pro,” said someone who’s known Venable for a long time. “He has the uncanny ability to connect with everyone he comes across.”
The son of an equally affable major-league player, Venable has been around baseball his whole life, and seems to possess natural leadership skills. Perhaps he needs to steep in some of the numbers and gain some experience putting together game plans, but in terms of communication, likability and leadership, Venable is someone to watch over the coming years.
The current Astros bench coach has already wowed one team in an interview, if reports are to believed, and it’s easy to see how. Not only does he come from one of the gold-star teams in the business — one that has married analytics and player development like maybe no other — but he’s distinguished himself as a fastidious rock within that team’s day-to-day business.
“The first two words I would use to describe him would be diligent and organized,” said someone who has worked with him. “Always on the ball, always on top of things.”
The Puerto Rican-born Espada was also once an assistant to Brian Cashman in New York, so he’s seen inside at least two top-of-the-line organizations. He’s managed in winter ball and at the World Baseball Classic, and even some others who could be considered for managerial openings had to admit they thought he was a great person. He’s made many friends along the way, and knows how good organizations work.
Dugouts everywhere are managed by former catchers, and it’s easy to see why. They are the center of the action on nearly every play, and see the game from the perspective of a manager on the field. And it’s not only X’s and O’s — which are determined by front offices more with every passing year anyway — it’s more than that. The catcher has to manage the personalities in his rotation and his bullpen, and be an effective communicator with them as they game plan.
“He’s just got an incredible ability to engage with people, hold them accountable, but be likable,” said one source. “He can just fit into any room and situation easily.”
Analytically, the game took off at the end of Ross’ career, and he’s been learning to keep up ever since. As a person and a leader, he’s already launched himself into the conversation.