Major League Baseball announced Tuesday that Boston Red Sox starting pitcher Rick Porcello and Washington Nationals third baseman Anthony Rendon were named the 2016 American and National League Comeback Players of the Year, respectively.
The award is given annually by the MLB to a player in each league who has “re-emerged on the field” during the season. One could interpret that definition in a couple different ways, but it’s usually given to an established player who returned to form after a season marred with injuries.
Porcello went 22-4 with a 3.15 ERA in a career-high 33 starts. The 27-year-old is the only AL pitcher to record at least 27 start in each of the last eight seasons, but he qualified for the Comeback Player of the Year Award due to the fact he went 9-15 with a 4.92 ERA in 2015.
He was 76-63 with a 4.30 ERA in the first six years of his career with Detroit.
Porcello led the majors with his 22 victories, which was the most by a Red Sox pitcher since Pedro Martinez won 23 games in 1999. Porcello also won the AL Cy Young Award.
Rendon hit .270 with 20 home runs, a career-best 85 RBI, 91 runs and 12 stolen bases in 567 at-bats over 156 games. The Nationals infielder, who permanently switched to third base after the team signed second baseman Daniel Murphy last winter, only played 80 games in 2015 due to injuries.
In 2014, Rendon was an All-Star snub, as he hit .287 with 21 home runs, 83 RBI and a NL-leading 111 runs. He also had 17 stolen bases and a .824 OPS in 683 plate appearances and ended up finished fifth in MVP voting.
Porcello and Rendon helped lead their team to division titles in the AL and NL East, respectively.