The daily grind of a major league season can take it’s toll on even the most seasoned veteran. Playing the game of baseball and performing well is a very tough task indeed. The 162 game season is long and arduous. Often injuries and other factors determine how productive a player can be.
To nobody’s surprise, player’s value increases and decreases almost on a yearly basis. One unproductive year and a player is often described as washed up. Matt Harvey and Prince Fielder won the awards in each league for the 2015 season. Both players returned from an injury riddled 2014 season to be productive members of their teams.
The comeback player of the year award has been given out by the Sporting News since the 1965 season, but the results have not been officially recognized by MLB until 2005. The award is officially given to a player who has re-emerged on the field from past failures or injuries. Winners in the past include Chris Young, Jim Thome, Ken Griffey Jr., Buster Posey, Carlos Pena, Cliff Lee, Mariano Rivera and Fernando Rodney.
Francisco Liriano has the distinction of being the only player to win it in both leagues. He won the award while in the American League when he pitched for the Twins in 2010. Three years later he won the award as a member of the Pittsburgh Pirates in the National League. He is also the first person to win the award twice in their career.
The following players are likely to have bounce back years, as each had a terrible 2015 season. Most of the players listed had injury concerns of some sort, so there is a good chance they will return to form to some degree. Though some might just be at the end of their major league career.
Honorable Mentions: (A.L.) Hanley Ramirez, Derek Holland, Jacoby Ellsbury
Honorable Mentions: (N.L.) Yasiel Puig, Matt Holliday, Jonathan Lucroy
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