Farrell’s background is in player development - before he was the pitching coach in Boston, he was the Indians’ director of player development.
He was very successful, too…under his watch, the Indians system can take (at least partial) credit for producing Coco Crisp, Ben Broussard, Josh Bard, Jake Westbrook, Cliff Lee, Jason Davis, Brian Tallet, Brandon Phillips, Jhonny Peralta, Travis Hafner, Victor Martinez, Jody Gerut, Billy Traber, Rafael Betancourt, Grady Sizemore, Kaz Tadano, Ryan Garko, Fernando Cabrera, Jeremy Sowers, Kevin Kouzmanoff, Joe Inglett, and Fausto Carmona. Admittedly, some of those guys (Crisp, Gerut, Pronk) were nearly finished products when they came over in trades, but the Indians’ system undeniably mass-produced talent under Farrell’s watch.
And that doesn’t count the guys who made their MLB debuts elsewhere but became regulars in Cleveland, like Casey Blake and Matt Miller.
Anyway, Farrell’s always struck me as a bright, level-headed, sensible, well-spoken guy. I’ve met him a couple times, once at a card show when he was a player and once when he was in the Indians’ front office. I came away impressed both times.
AFAIK, he doesn’t have any experience managing teams so it’s tough to say what he’d be like strategically. But he certainly seems like someone who’d be good at just about any facet of running a baseball team. His skills seem perfect for the Royals.