Lance Berkman of the St. Louis Cardinals and Jacoby Ellsbury of the Boston Red Sox were announced on Thursday for the 2011 Comeback Player of the Year Awards.
The award for Berkman, 35, was well deserved hitting .301 with 31 home runs and 94 RBIs alongside a .412 on-base percentage and a slugging percentage of .547. When you consider Berkman played with the Houston Astros and New York Yankees last season and only managed a .248 average with 14 home runs and 58 RBIs it’s easily to see why he’s a “comeback player.”
According to MLB.com
He ranked among the NL leaders in homers (tied for ninth overall, first with 22 road homers), RBIs (tied for 11th), walks (92, fourth), slugging (fifth) and OBP (third).
On the American League side Ellsbury will likely be a candidate for the leagues Most Valuable Player (MVP Award) during balloting although with the collapse of the Red Sox he’s likely a long shot. Ellsbury is in his fifth season of play and recorded 32 home runs and 39 stolen bases this season. The center fielder also racked up a .321 batting average with 105 RBIs, 46 doubles, five triples and 119 runs. Ellsbury also led the Bigs with 364 total bases and 83 extra-base hits.
Speaking about his top notch season Ellsbury said:
“I know what I’m capable of doing. I know everybody has been surprised by the power numbers, but it’s always been there,” Ellsbury said. “It just hasn’t translated to the game, but every year I’ve consistently gotten better. This is kind of what I was looking for last year.”
The Comeback Player of the Year Awards are chosen by 30 MLB.com beat reporters.
Do you think Jacoby Ellsbury and Lance Berkman were the right choices for the 2011 Comeback Play of the Year Awards?