You never want to be a candidate for the Comeback Player of the Year Award — it means bad stuff happened, right? — but if you do find yourself needing to bounce back it sure must feel like some good validation to win it. This year’s two winners were just announced: Matt Harvey in the NL, Prince Fielder in the AL.
Harvey missed the entire 2014 season following Tommy John surgery. And, while there were controversies regarding his usage by the Mets, he had a great comeback season. He posted a 2.71 ERA in 29 regular-season starts and struck out 188 batters in 189.1 regular season innings. He likewise pitched four times in the playoffs, including an excellent, though ultimately losing, Game 5.
Fielder appeared in just 42 games last season before requiring season-ending surgery on his neck in 2014. He came back and put up a .305/.378/.463 line with 23 home runs and 98 RBI while playing in 158 games and helping the Rangers win the American League West.
Normally a player who missed an entire year and then put up .250/.356/.486 with 33 homers at age 40 would get strong consideration, but I suppose that when your name is Alex Rodriguez and the reason you missed a year was because of your own malfeasance, that’s gonna count against you with the voters.