Mike Moustakas has been named American League Comeback Player of the Year by The Sporting News. He is just the second Royals player to ever win the award, which has been given out since 1965. Bret Saberhagen won it in 1987. Former Royals closer Greg Holland has been given the same award in the National League.
The Sporting News Comeback Player of the Year Award is not the officially sanctioned MLB award for player comebacks, but it has been around longer than MLB’s award, which only began in 2005.
Mike Moustakas missed over four months of the 2016 season with a knee injury but returned in 2017 to his best career power season, breaking the single-season franchise record for home runs. He hit .272/.314/.521 with 38 home runs and 1.8 rWAR. He was named to his second All-Star Game and was a participant in the Home Run Derby.
Greg Holland missed the entire 2016 season with Tommy John surgery. He returned with the Rockies, and led the National League in saves with 41 while posting a 3.61 ERA and 1.4 rWAR.
Royals pitcher Jason Vargas finished second in voting, followed by Blue Jays first baseman Justin Smoak, Red Sox pitcher Craig Kimbrel, and Rays pitcher Alex Cobb. MLB will announce the winner of their Comeback Player of the Year Award in late November.