MLB Releases Candidates for AL and NL Comeback Player of the Year

Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim v Texas Rangers
Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim v Texas Rangers / Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

Each year, players who were previously labeled as finished or simply came off a bad season rebound and turn their careers around.

On Monday, MLB announced the six candidates for AL and NL Comeback Player of the Year. The list includes Lucas Giolito, Hunter Pence and Jorge Soler in the AL and Josh Donaldson, Sonny Gray and Hyun-Jin Ryu in the NL.

Of the six players, all but Donaldson and Soler were 2019 All-Stars. Gray and Ryu are expected to get Cy Young votes this winter with Ryu being a legitimate candidate to win the award. Soler led the Junior Circuit with 48 homers this season. Giolito, the worst starter in baseball in 2018 (6.13 ERA), was 34% above average (134 ERA+) in 2019.

While Soler and Giolito broke out to finally reach their potential, it's the career resurrections of guys like Donaldson, Pence and Ryu that truly embody the award.

Donaldson and Ryu came back from injury plagued 2018 seasons to lead their respective teams to division titles.

After being below average from 2017-2018, it seemed that Pence, 36, would struggle to find a job this offseason. Instead, the World Series hero signed a minor league deal, won a job with the Rangers, and went to put up a 126 OPS+.

All six players are more than deserving of the award, but only two can win. No matter who takes it home, every player should be proud of their 2019 campaign.