Kansas City Royals Midseason Awards: Moose or Salvy for MVP?
Kansas City Royals MVP and Comeback Player of the Year: Mike Moustakas
Salvador Perez and Jason Vargas have been tremendous this season, but it’s the Royals’ other All-Star Game representative who has put this team in position to compete for a postseason spot.
Moustakas, who needed a second Final Vote victory in the past three seasons to reach the Midsummer Classic, is on pace to shatter Steve Balboni’s franchise record of 36 homers in a season. His 25 first-half dingers got him into the Home Run Derby, where he narrowly lost in the first round to eventual runner-up Miguel Sano.
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Despite trailing the third baseman by seven home runs, Perez is a worthy Royals MVP candidate with three more RBIs (57 to 54) and a .290 batting average to Moose’s .270. Vargas, meanwhile, has put together one of the best starts to the season by a Royals pitcher in the past 25 years.
Moustakas, though, has been a revelation, especially considering the tempered expectations as he came back from a mostly lost season.
It’s no coincidence that the only time in the past five seasons the Royals have failed to even contend for the playoffs came when Moustakas missed a majority of the 2016 campaign with a torn anterior cruciate ligament.
Recovering from a torn ACL to hit 25 home runs in the first 87 games of the season made Moose a fairly easy choice for KC’s Comeback Player of the Year, but it also sets him up to possibly take home the American League’s official award come season’s end.
Runners-up: Perez (MVP) and Mike Minor (Comeback POY)