An Early Look At Comeback Player Of The Year

Subjective questions swirl around most awards discussions — should a pitcher win MVP, should the Rookie of the Year be the best player that season or the one with the brightest future, does the Manager of the Year and/or MVP need to come from a playoff team, etc. But Comeback Player of the Year may be the most loosely defined award. As I detailed in this exercise last season, the only criteria is that a player “re-emerged,” which is very much open to interpretation. So, let’s try to take an objective look.

Last year, I hit on Jacoby Ellsbury taking Comeback honors in the American League, but I whiffed on Lance Berkman in the National League. By looking at players who had compiled less than 2.0 WAR in 2010, I excluded Berkman, who had put up 2.1 WAR in his time with the Astros and Yankees (well, okay, just the Astros). So this season, I widened my search. I cross-referenced who posted a WAR of 2.5 or less in 2011 and at least 1.0 so far this season. Doing so did help me catch some players that I wouldn’t have last year, so I’ve got that going for me.

The other subjective factor with the Comeback Player of the Year is determining what exactly from the player is coming back. There is a big difference between a young player breaking out and a veteran rebounding from a dismal season. Ruminate on that as we move forward.

Like last year, let’s take a look at the players with a 2.0 WAR difference between this year and last. We’ll start with the AL (all numbers current as of Thursday):

Player 11 WAR 12 WAR Diff
Adam Dunn -2.9 1.7 4.6
Alex Rios -0.7 3.3 4.0
Chris Sale 1.4 4 2.6
Raul Ibanez -1.3 1 2.3
Josh Reddick 1.9 4.1 2.2
A.J. Pierzynski 1.4 3.5 2.1
Joe Mauer 1.6 3.7 2.1
Edwin Encarnacion 1.5 3.6 2.1
Mike Moustakas 0.7 2.8 2.1
Fernando Rodney -0.2 1.8 2.0
Kyle Seager 0.5 2.5 2.0

Now, right away, we can cut a few of these guys, under the breakout vs. re-emerge theory. Sale, Reddick, Moustakas, Seager, and probably even Encarnacion, aren’t guys that you think of as established stars that were bad last season. They’re guys who are taking the next step. So if we dip down a little further on the list, we see guys like Brandon Inge (1.9 WAR difference), Jason Hammel (1.8), Kevin Millwood (1.7), Justin Morneau (1.7), Cody Ross (1.6) and Colby Rasmus (1.6). All would be deserving of mention, and Hammel in particular may have been a chief candidate had he not been felled by a right-knee injury that required surgery. But there’s still one name that we’re not seeing — one Austin Jarriel Jackson.

Jackson has been lauded as a player who has completely turned around his career, and with just cause. After finishing second place for the 2010 AL ROY Award, Jackson had a sobering year in ’11, at least offensively. And there is the rub. Jackson has scored well in advanced defensive metrics like UZR and DRS in all three of his major league seasons, and last year his UZR was a large factor in his entirely respectable 2.8 WAR. Jackson is undoubtedly having a much better season this year — his 4.8 WAR is already 2.0 better than last year — so whether or not you think he deserves this award essentially boils down to how you feel about his defensive contributions.

In the end though, it may not matter. Dunn, an All-Star, MVP candidate and prodigious producer of power before 2011, has come back in a big way this season. The White Sox’s only path to contention this season was for him and Rios to rebound from their dismal ’11 seasons, and that is exactly what has happened. Along with career years from Pierzynski and Sale, Dunn and Rios have done their part to put Chicago back in contention. Dunn hasn’t been the best of the bunch — in fact, he’s been worth less than the other three — but considering how bad he was last year, he’s had the largest transformation in the game, one that helped him net an All-Star berth this season.

Now for the Senior Circuit:

Player 11 WAR 12 WAR Diff
David Wright 1.9 5.9 4.0
Buster Posey 1.7 5 3.3
Wade Miley 0.1 3.3 3.2
Bronson Arroyo -1.3 1.7 3.0
Jason Heyward 2.2 5.1 2.9
Pedro Alvarez -0.8 2 2.8
Aroldis Chapman 0.6 3.2 2.6
A.J. Ellis 0.7 3.3 2.6
Aaron Hill 0.8 3.4 2.6
Adam LaRoche -0.2 2.3 2.5
Martin Prado 1.6 4.1 2.5
Tyler Colvin -1 1.4 2.4
Jose Altuve 0.3 2.6 2.3
Paul Goldschmidt 0.6 2.9 2.3
Jed Lowrie 0.3 2.5 2.2
Ian Desmond 1.4 3.6 2.2
Chris Johnson -0.8 1.2 2.0
Josh Johnson 1.7 3.6 1.9

You’ll notice I broke my own 2.0 WAR rule in that chart, but Josh Johnson is the type of guy that this award is made for, and he should get over the threshold soon enough, assuming he stays healthy. The list does exclude Alfonso Soriano (1.8 difference), Juan Pierre (1.6), Joe Blanton (1.3), and if you dig a little deeper, Hanley Ramirez (0.8), Chad Billingsley (0.8), Chipper Jones (0.8) and A.J. Burnett (0.7). Jones in particular figures to be an interesting name to consider here. If he doesn’t factor into the MVP vote — and honestly, he very well could — there may be a push to give the soon-to-be-retired Jones *some* kind of award, and this one would fit.

But, while there has been a whole lotta revival going on in the NL this year, this should basically be a two-man race. If we knock out Miley on the grounds that he wasn’t really even an established player last year, the two by themselves at the top of this list are Wright and Posey. If the Mets were still in the playoff chase, Wright would be a no-doubter. Combine the stress fracture in his lower back that he sustained last season with the fact that he entered 2012 a full three years removed from his last seven-win season, and it was fair to wonder if the notion of “David Wright, superstar” had run its course. But he has rung the bell in resounding fashion this season, putting up a season commensurate with his 2007-08 peak.

Of course, Posey is not going to go quietly, and with the Giants in the playoff hunt, and since his injury was front-page news nationally moreso than was Wright’s, Posey may take the Comeback honors himself. He is undoubtedly having his best season, and we are probably in store for many more of these seasons. I would dock him slightly for the award on the subjective basis that his injury was a freak thing, whereas Wright’s was borne out of wear and tear, but that’s a minor thing. Outside of those two and Jones, Chapman, Arroyo, Heyward and Alvarez could get playoff-push bumps, though to me Chapman is more “most-improved” than “comeback.”

Comeback Player of the Year is a totally subjective award, and ultimately, it doesn’t mean a whole lot. No one is bringing up Comeback Player of the Year in arbitration hearings, and I’ve never heard of a bonus incentive tied to it either. Still, that doesn’t mean we should ignore it. Multiple players can make compelling arguments in each league, but at this juncture of the season, it looks like Adam Dunn, Alex Rios (and maybe Austin Jackson), David Wright and Buster Posey are the front runners, with Dunn and Wright having separated from the pack.




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Paul Swydan is the co-managing editor of The Hardball Times, a writer and editor for FanGraphs and a writer for ESPN MLB Insider and the Boston Globe. Follow him on Twitter @Swydan.


93 Responses to “An Early Look At Comeback Player Of The Year”

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  1. Timothy says:

    Ben Sheets should be strongly considered.

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  2. Person says:

    Dunn and Strasburg

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    • ecp says:

      Dunn fine, Strasburg no. You don’t give Comeback of the Year to a player who had played a grand total of 1/3 of a season prior to having something to come back from.

      +15 Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Greg says:

        Why not? He came back from a serious injury and has been dominant. I think the fact he pitched a couple months last year probably rules him out, but I don’t see why it excludes him. Let’s say Mike Trout broke his leg Kendry Morales style tomorrow and missed 2013. You don’t think he’s a candidate for the award in 2014? I sure do.

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  3. Greg says:

    you should post the 2010′s WARs also because it comeback player of the year, not most improved player of the year.

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  4. Well-Beered Englishman says:

    Dunn is almost worthy of a unanimous vote. Last year he was one of the worst players ever.

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  5. Murrel says:

    When I think come back I think coming back from where. What I see here is improvement from ’12 over ’11. To make the analysis complete in a comeback sense, I would add in a column of pre-11 high and limit this year’s improvement to his comeback level.

    For example, Posey is not really a comeback candidate in my book because he is clearly still evolving and, while his injury caused a blimp on his progress, he was not really very far advanced on the full season War-scale.

    My leaders at this stage would easily be Dunn and Wright.

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  6. Charles says:

    I don’t get the thought-process of giving a Comeback award to someone who isn’t coming back from anything other than being crappy for a season. I know it happens, but that doesn’t seem very legitimate to me. I’d much rather see someone who lost the last year do to injury (Posey, LaRoche) or was out of the sport (Sheets) get the award than someone who just happened to be bad the previous season.

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    • soamx says:

      I’m on the opposite end of the spectrum. It’s all subjective obviously but
      I don’t get giving the award to a guy like Posey who is only coming back from an injury. If he wasn’t injured last year, he would have had a great season.
      That’s not much of a comeback to me. A comeback to me has to be a situation where people wonder if you are able to produce at a high level anymore or don’t believe you can produce at a high level anymore.

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      • tbad says:

        I’m totally with you, soamx.

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      • Mcneildon says:

        I’m with soamx except for when the injury is a situation where people wonder if the player can ever be the same player again, or even expect that he can’t. For instance, if Chase Utley has a 7 win season next year, I think that would merit a Comeback Player of the Year award.

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      • BenH says:

        And I’m with Charles. I think giving the award to someone like Posey is kind of like acknowledging how much it sucks to be injured and out for quite a while. Otherwise, you’re kind of rewarding someone for not being able to control the things he should be able to control the year before.

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      • J-Rock says:

        I think the award can go to either type of player since both types involve coming back from something, whether it be injury or poor performance. I think Dunn should get it for being historically awful and bouncing back, and Posey* should get it for coming back from such a gruesome and potentially career threatening injury and having a ridiculously good season.

        *Disclaimer: I’m a huge Posey fan and think he should be Comeback Player, MVP, Mr. Universe, and President of Earth. So I might be a bit biased…

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  7. soamx says:

    I think Encarnacion will get some serious consideration even though it’s much more of a breakout than a comeback just because he’s been around for a while and isn’t seen in the same breakout light as guys like Sale, Reddick . Dunn will win though, he fits the classic mold. A great player who puts up consistent stats, has 1 off year and rebounds back to his usual stats.

    I’m not sold on Wright though. He hit only slightly under his projections last year in an injury shortened season. I don’t think he will runaway with it the way Dunn will.
    Soriano will get some consideration and if Johnson and Burnett finish with shiny W-L records neither of them would shock me either.

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    • siggian says:

      Encarnacion for comeback player is not really close.

      Encarnacion for breakout player over 25yrs old is a strong contender. AKA the Jose Bautista Award

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  8. DD says:

    Aaron Hill should be in the running for the NL, tho I agree Posey will win it.

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  9. YanksFanInBeantown says:

    Eric Chavez anyone?

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  10. salvo says:

    How ’bout Adam Wainwright? He doesn’t even appear on your list but he’s second in the NL behind Wright with +3.5 WAR after missing the entire 2011 season…

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    • YanksFanInBeantown says:

      Wainwright isn’t even the most productive player coming back from TJS.

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    • MauerPower says:

      According to BR WAR Wainwright has only been worth .9 wins.

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      • jim says:

        rWAR is probably not the right instrument of valuation for 2012 adam wainwright, considering he has the second-lowest FIP, xFIP, and SIERA of his career, each to only his outstanding 2010 season

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      • YanksFanInBeantown says:

        He’s still not a contender for CPOTY, though. Strasburg is also coming back from TJS and has been better in every category.

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      • salvo says:

        I was going by the WAR used in the list, which is from Fangraph’s site, and that has Wainwright at 3.5, Strasburg at 4.0.

        But one could argue Strasburg’s comeback began last year, in which he made 11 starts (6 in the minors, 5 with the Nationals) and amassed 1.1 WAR. So he’s only been worth 2.9 more WAR so far in 2012 than in 2011.

        Wainwright will probably throw about 50 more innings in 2012 than will Strasburg, and he’s only been getting better as the season has progressed.

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      • YanksFanInBeantown says:

        I don’t think Strasburg should get it either. Both of them are just picking up where they left off before they got hurt, I don’t think that’s much of a “comeback”

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  11. simo says:

    Peavy????

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    • simo says:

      I understand that he had a good fip last year, but it was in just over one hundred innings and his ERA was horrible… because of his fip, his fangraphs WAR was still good, but honestly he has been by far more valuable in actual performance this year(RA, IP), while posting a similar projection-based stat(fip)

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      • YanksFanInBeantown says:

        something about FIP being his actual results!

        because there’s no such thing as quality of contact if it isn’t a home run!

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      • simo says:

        As far as I can tell, while everyone at fangraphs may think that fip=performance, that is not entirely true. As much as I adore the stat for projecting pitchers stats in the future, player A is not helping the team any more than player B in this hypothetical:

        Player A: 50 IP… never walks batters or gives up homeruns, strikes out two per inning pitched, gives up two bloop doubles in every inning pitched and has a 9.00 RA

        Player B: 50 IP… walks many, gives up homeruns, never strikes out batters, 9.00 RA

        While this is unlikely of ever happening, just because Player A is unlucky, he is not helping his team any more than Player B… still costing his team the same amount of runs. I would obviously prefer Player A on my team for hopes of less bad luck in the next year, but he hasn’t been any more effective this year.

        sorry to drone on, but real example from this year: John Axford and Joel Hanrahan have had similar years going by fip(Hanrahan with a 3.95 fip and 3.86 xfip and Ax with a 4.14 fip and 3.46 xfip), but, owning both in fantasy baseball, I have found much more value in Hanrahan’s 2.56 ERA than Axford’s 5.14 ERA in similar IP. They clearly do not have the same value, but Fip would say its close. Next year while drafting I may evaluate them as similar pitchers, but this year Hanrahan has been WAAAAAY more valuable

        Sorry to argue for so long fangraphs peeps… love the site, just disagree with the WAR of pitchers…

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      • YanksFanInBeantown says:

        I was being sarcastic, dude.

        I’m a rWAR man for pitchers.

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      • simo says:

        hard to tell sarcasm in text haha… just wasted a lot of time writing that… oh well

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      • Mcneildon says:

        You didn’t waste your time writing that because I read it and disagree slightly with your take, although I think you’re spot-on about how fip does not necessarily give you the best measure of a pitcher’s contributions or effectiveness in a given year.

        Fip is great for projecting, but it isn’t really a projection tool; it measures what happened. However, it only measures results when the results are strikeouts, walks, or homeruns. So it does measure performance, but ignores a majority of “what happens” when a pitcher is pitching.

        Don’t get me wrong though, I’m totally on board with the main emphasis of your point.

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  12. The Rev says:

    It would be an atrocity if a player hitting .207 won the “Comeback Player of The Year”. What exactly did Dunn come back and do? Set an all-time record for K’s in a season?

    -7 Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Ian R. says:

      Dunn is also leading the league in home runs and walks. Besides potentially making stat-nerd history (he’d be the first player to lead MLB in all three TTO categories since Babe Ruth), he’s gone from one of the worst seasons ever to an above-average season.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

    • YanksFanInBeantown says:

      Triple his home run total from last year?

      Raise his OBP by .040?

      Raise his SLG% by .210?

      Raise his wOBA by .090?

      Raise his wRC+ by 51?

      Take your pick, bro.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Ted says:

      This might not be your kind of blog bro.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

    • MikeS says:

      It’s more what he didn’t do. He didn’t hit 159/292/277. He didn’t get only 6 hits (5 singles, one double) against lefties. He didn’t make everybody wonder if he could still play baseball.

      After an historically bad 2011, any sign of life would have put him in the running for CPotY. Leading MLB in HR would make him a mortal lock.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

      • tyke says:

        sorry to be that guy, but it is “a historically”. the word “historic(ally)” does not start with a vowel sound.

        had to get that off my chest. i see it all the time and it drives me fucking crazy.

        on with the chlorophyll!

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      • No_Comment says:

        what if he finishes below the Mendoza Line, bro?

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    • Johnnynewguy says:

      He was literally the worst player in baseball last season. He hit .159/.292/.277. It was what the 2nd worst season or worst season in baseball history for a single player. He had 177 K’s last season with 11HRs, 115 Total Bases. He hit more home runs in April and May alone this season then he did all last year and will have over 100 more total bases. Adam Dunn should win this award unanimously. He leads the league this season in HRs, 7th in RBIs, 15th in Runs, and 1st in walks. This will probably be the most no brainer choice of all the awards this off-season. By the way, batting average is a really bad stat, you should stop using it. ( Yes, I know I used RBIs above and it is an awful stat too.)

      +7 Vote -1 Vote +1

  13. therood says:

    It should probably just be given to “Most of the White Sox” roster.

    At the season’s beginning, I had serious doubts about the team because in order to do well, they would have to have monster comeback years from Dunn, Rios, and Peavy. I thought that was too many questions and had them pegged hopefully for a 75-win season in a weak division. But, lo and behold, all three of those guys have been amazing while also getting career years from Pierzynski and Sale to make up for the steaming pile of crap that has been the middle infield’s bats and most of the beginning-of-the-year starting pitching’s awfulness.

    +10 Vote -1 Vote +1

  14. therood says:

    Alternately, give it to the “Left Side of the 1993 White Sox Infield” for replacing several abysmal managerial seasons with an excellent one.

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    • therood says:

      Perhaps I’m too harsh with the word “abysmal.” The team’s record on paper doesn’t merit that word, but if you had to suffer through the daily drama from the last three years, you’d probably use the word, too.

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  15. DavidJ says:

    Johan Santana was looking like an excellent candidate for a while, but boy, his season has really fallen apart.

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  16. Dave says:

    What about Eric Chavez? Raise your hand if 2 years ago, you thought Chavez would be a solid contributor to the Yankees. As far as NL, I think AJ Burnett isn’t getting enough credit. The guy’s pretty much saved his career and for once is actually pitching up to his huge contract. Too bad it’s not with the Yankees.

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  17. AJP says:

    While a legitimate case can certainly be made for Dunn, however I think Rios makes the most sense. Dunn’s overall comeback has been stronger thus far, but that’s because he fell off by so much last year. Rios wasn’t great either, however he’s the more complete player, has had the better season thus far, and ultimately makes more sense IMO.

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    • TheUncool says:

      I tend to agree… and really, Rios’ overall comeback ain’t quite that far behind Dunn’s either. We’re only talking 0.6 WAR out of 4-plus thus far, and near as I can tell, Rios seems to be trending better than Dunn in the past couple months.

      Yeah, it’s hard to tell whether their performance trends will continue the same way, but I’m guessing Rios will catch up w/ (and possibly surpass) Dunn on the overall comeback WAR total by the end of the year. It just seems like Dunn has gradually reverted back to what he did last year after a hot first couple months — and his numbers for Aug thus far look a lot like last year’s numbers. It’s kinda odd too how Dunn’s performance is trending, ie. he’s basically reverting back to the awful BABIP he had last year on top of the record-pacing K rate although he’s still currently managing a bit more power than last year. I wonder if he’s not facing more lefties of late than earlier in the year while pitchers may also be adjusting to him.

      Meanwhile, Rios has not shown nearly as much signs of slowing down overall — he was hottest in June and July, but might be settling down somewhere close to his still very respectable true talent level this month.

      Of course, even if I’m right about them, Dunn’s comeback has clearly been publicized and hyped much more than Rios’, so Dunn will still likely win the award unless he completely collapses the rest of the way, which is not exactly improbable…

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  18. Matty Brown says:

    Holy 13 win swing for the White Sox Batman!!!

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  19. KMiB says:

    He just misses being on the NL chart (his 11-12 difference sits at 1.8 currently), but Ryan Ludwick deserves at least a mention. Also, by the time the season ends, I expect he’ll continue to expand that gap.

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    • jirish says:

      I’m with you. He is in the midst of a really nice bounce back season and as a bonus has really stepped it up when they needed him the most. He is showing no sign of slowing down either.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

  20. Mac says:

    WAR is not the be all and end all stat, which brings us to Adam Dunn. As a DH, he’ll never be able to keep up in WAR. He’s all about the bat, and getting back to a 120 wRC+ (career average 125 wRC+) after posting a 59 wRC+? I doubt anyone else had that kind of hitting turnaround.

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    • YanksFanInBeantown says:

      Eric Chavez has. Up to 138 from 79 last year.

      And he has almost as many WAR as Dunn in 40 less games.

      And he’s actually coming back from something other than being terrible.

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  21. Steve says:

    What about Melky Ca….ohhhh

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  22. Dave Mawson says:

    Dunn is a no- brainer in the AL and Wright should be the favorite in the NL (although he is slumping badly now and might jeopardize his shot.) It’s curious that you consider Posey a candidate. He wasn’t having a bad season when he got hurt last year. Unless you are using the subjective criteria that he has come back from a devastating injury (which would then qualify the likes of Wainwright.)

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    • TheUncool says:

      I think Dunn might be a no-brainer only because of all the publicity he’s gotten. Near as I can tell, he’s actually in significant danger of a collapse down the stretch based on how he’s been trending since his hot first couple months. And Rios may well catch up and surpass him in that WAR diff number by the end of the year even if he doesn’t completely collapse.

      But yes, I think Dunn will win it *IF* he doesn’t collapse the rest of the way…

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    • No_Comment says:

      who knows what the definition is? its like MVP, apparently it counts less if you’re raking for the cellar dwellar than if you’re playing for the pennant winners.

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  23. jfree says:

    Pure WAR diff is not the best measure. Comeback really does imply that the player had to suck last year. For fantasy sabernuts, the player had to suck so bad that it made a mockery of all “buy-low – he’s had bad luck – he’s bound to regress back to normal” thinking. This player had to completely trash that and make you challenge all your assumptions. You are the one who bought-low on Dunn – and then watched him obliterate your team and you still couldn’t pull the trigger and drop him. To suck so bad that you along with every other fan is yelling “Fire the bum” every time he comes out to play. A player who continued to play last year – despite the suckitude – because everyone had expectations of better than replacement performance.

    So I’d eliminate all those whose 2011 WAR was positive.

    At any rate, Dunn is the only one worthy of the award with Rios a very very distant second.

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    • dougiejays says:

      If your definition of Comeback player is a guy that was totally crucified by the fans for sucking before turning into a critical player, then Encarnacion has to come back into the conversation.

      (Rasmus too, as far as Blue Jays go.)

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  24. MuseumTwenty says:

    In the AL, I think someone is even more remarkable than Dunn.

    In fact, this player is so great, he managed to have an extraordinarily crappy season (as noteworthy as Dunn’s) AND an undeniably MVP-quality season — in the SAME YEAR!!

    I nominate, for Comeback Player of the Year, the legendary…Albert Pujols!!

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  25. asaenz says:

    What about Fernando Rodney?

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  26. Posey should be the winner hands down. The question after the devastating hit by Hit-man Cousins, who said he was thinking collision the moment he left 3B, was whether he could even play again after recovery, let alone dominate like he has.

    His is not the normal comeback scenario, where a guy was up then down, and now up again, but he’s lucky just to be playing, let alone leading the league for catchers in a number of offensive categories.

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    • Rob says:

      Exactly. There was speculation that it could end his career completely. Not to mention, his “comeback,” others may not be as familiar as giants fans but we’ve seen so much footage of all the work he put in to rehab and come back so quickly and as good as he was before…

      I think this award is made for someone like him who came back when he could have been done and worked to make sure he wasn’t.

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    • No_Comment says:

      you’re not an impartial observer.

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  27. TheUncool says:

    I wouldn’t bet on Dunn winning the AL Comeback Player award just yet.

    Dunn’s trending badly since his initial hot couple months. Whatever the cause, if he keeps that up, he may collapse enough to let Rios surpass him significantly for the award.

    At this point, short of a full collapse down the stretch, I’m thinking Dunn will likely win mainly because of the publicity that’s surrounded him all along (compared to Rios), not because his actual comeback (per WAR diff) will be higher than Rios’ by the end of the year.

    This is definitely not a no-brainer (like some suggest) just yet…

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  28. TallGuy says:

    For the NL, it’s not close.
    It’s Buster Posey, and he’ll get 90% of the votes. There was a ton of sympathy for his injury last year. The Giants were comfortably in first place when it happened (3 games up and on pace for 93 wins) and their subsequent fall emphasized his value (8 games out and 86 wins).
    Swydan writes about Wright being three years removed from a great season and that his injury being a result of “wear and tear” rather than a freak occurrence like Posey’s as a positive factor for the award. That’s not the case at all.
    Posey’s story is the kind of story people love. He was great, (Rookie of the Year, World Series Champ his first [and only full] year), and then endured an absolutely horrific, visually gruesome, and arguably malignant and ruthless injury that ended his second year tragically. And now? An immediate happy ending, he’s great again (and not just by rookie standards, definite MVP candidate), the Giants are in first again, he’s completely overcome the setback, Hollywood couldn’t have written a happier ending.
    David Wright is a great baseball player. David Wright is not a compelling story. The Mets aren’t relevant this year, or last year, or the year before . . . Buster Posey’s Giants have never been anything but contenders.
    This race is over, and it will be a landslide.

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  29. RussianCirlces says:

    Ben Sheets, no doubt. Read this, and tell me he doesn’t deserve the award.

    http://atlanta.braves.mlb.com/news/print.jsp?ymd=20120809&content_id=36415484&vkey=news_atl&c_id=atl

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  30. No_Comment says:

    they need a Reverse Comeback Player of the Year Award. how about a column on that, boss?

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  31. George Uk says:

    How about Kendrys Morales? The guy missed 2 years with the same career threatening injury and has come back and is putting up pretty respectable numbers considering.

    Surely a guy like Morales coming back from a devastating injury, that nearly cost him his career, fits the definition of comeback player of the year far better than the sucky Adam Dunn season of 2011?

    Guess this can apply to Sheets and Chavez too who have overcome long term injuries.

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  32. Matt M says:

    Not only should Dunn win Comeback Player of the Year, Kenny Williams should win Comeback GM of the Year.

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  33. Ender says:

    I have to agree that I wouldn’t give it to Dunn. When you probably get lucky overall and still struggle to manage 2.0 WAR it is hard for me to consider you a comeback player of the year even if you were just awful the year before.

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  34. Brad Johnson says:

    I’m late to the party and I’m sure it’s been said, but Eric Chavez and Adam LaRoche are the players might heart chose.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

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