Royals catcher Salvador Perez has been named a finalist for the Players Choice American League Comeback Player of the Year, awarded by the Major League Baseball Players Association. Perez missed the entire 2019 season after an elbow injury required Tommy John surgery, but returned to have a career season, hitting .333/.353/.633 with 11 home runs in 37 games. He led all catchers in Wins Above Replacement with 1.9, according to Fangraphs, and was 22nd among all baseball players in that category.
Pérez will be up against pitcher Carlos Carrasco and third baseman José Ramírez, both of the Indians. Carrasco was diagnosed with leukemia last spring, but returned this season with a 2.91 ERA in 12 starts. Ramírez had a mediocre season in 2019 but rebounded this year to go on a tear to end the season, finishing with a line of .292/.386/.607 with 17 home runs in 58 games and a league-best 45 runs scored.
The National League Comeback Player of the Year finalists are Rockies pitcher Daniel Bard, Braves outfielder Adam Duvall, and Padres outfielder Wil Myers.
Other finalists for awards handed out by the MLBPA:
Outstanding Player Award
American League: José Abreu, White Sox; D.J. LeMahieu, Yankees; Mike Trout, Angels
National League: Mookie Betts, Dodgers; Freddie Freeman, Braves; Juan Soto, Nationals
Outstanding Pitcher Award
American League: Shane Bieber, Indians; Gerrit Cole, Yankees; Lance Lynn, Rangers
National League: Trevor Bauer, Reds; Yu Darvish, Cubs; Jacob deGrom, Mets
Outstanding Rookie Award
American League: James Karinchak, Indians; Kyle Lewis, Mariners; Luis Robert, White Sox
National League: Alec Bohm, Phillies; Jake Cronenworth, Padres; Devin Williams, Brewers
Marvin Miller Man of the Year: Nelson Cruz, Twins; Jason Heyward, Cubs; Adam Wainwright, Cardinals
The Players Choice Awards are voted among all players in September. Winners will be announced October 22. These awards are not to be confused with the MVP, Cy Young Award, and Rookie of the Year awards handed out by the Baseball Writers of America, or MLB’s Comeback Player of the Year award. Mike Moustakas won Players Choice Comeback Player of the Year for the American League in 2017, when he returned from injury to set the single-season club home run record.