Comeback Player of the Year: Mike Moustakas
Here’s one of the few instances where a midseason award winner hangs on to the honor. Mike Moustakas slumped badly after the midway point in August, but his full body of work earns him Comeback Player of the Year.
While the Kansas City Royals had a few great comeback stories, Moustakas went above and beyond what anyone could have expected this season. Coming off a torn anterior cruciate ligament that ended his 2016 campaign early, Moose put up power numbers Royals fans have never seen.
Moustakas piled up 25 home runs before the All-Star break. However, injuries and fatigue caught up to him in the second half. After reaching 35 home runs on Aug. 15, Moustakas only hit three homers over the final month-and-a-half of the season.
He still wound up with a great statline. Moustakas added 24 doubles and 85 RBI to his 38 homers. He surprisingly featured in 148 games while slashing .272/.314/.521.
The third baseman set the franchise’s single-season home run record with his 37th of the year. That record alone makes this a fairly easy decision.
However, Vargas and Mike Minor put up a good fight. Vargas finished tied for the MLB lead in wins, while Minor excelled after not having pitched in the majors since 2014. But Moustakas’ outstanding year at the plate, trumps the other two free agent standouts.
Each of the three is likely in for a nice payday this offseason after resurrecting their respective careers in a way.