There was a lot of excitement about Alex Cora ahead of his debut season as manager of the Boston Red Sox, but he’s exceeded expectations and then some in his first year as skipper.

The Red Sox have been a force to be reckoned with throughout the 2018 campaign, and all signs point to Boston making a deep run in October. While Dave Dombrowski obviously had enough faith in Cora to sign him in the offseason, the Red Sox president of baseball operations has been a bit taken aback by how well Cora has handled a job he’d previously never held before.

“We anticipated him to do a good job, or we wouldn’t have hired him,” Dombrowski told WEEI’s “Dale and Keefe” on Wednesday, as part of the WEEI/NESN Jimmy Fund Radio-Telethon. “But I would also say you never expect a guy to lead any club to being 50 games above .500. I think probably the biggest surprise would be the quick-learning aspect of it. We knew he was a good baseball man, very intelligent, good communicator, felt he’d keep the clubhouse loose, knows the game, leadership capabilities in every respect. But he’s also taken in very quickly what’s expected of the job. Even though he’d been a manager in winter ball — much different than managing with the Boston Red Sox organization, been a bench coach in Houston — he’s just adjusted so well to it, feels comfortable in the role and I think makes the players feel comfortable. So I think the way he’s adjusted to it and so quickly, maybe he’s even caught me by surprise.”

While Cora might have been a pleasant surprise throughout the early stages of the season, he now can just be filed as a good baseball manager. As such, he and his team will be greeted with World Series expectations once the postseason kicks off.

You can see Dombrowski’s full interview in the video above.

Thumbnail photo via Greg M. Cooper/USA TODAY Sports