Comeback Players Of The Year Projected For The 2021 Season
Being a professional athlete means wear and tear on your body. Not to mention being in the eyes of everyone whether it’s a coach, sportswriter, or even a fan. If you struggle or get injured, automatically that group of people will look down upon you. It’s a long row to hoe. If you can come back though after being presented with these difficulties, it speaks miles and will regain respect from everyone. The Comeback Players of the Year all represent this. Last year it was Salvador Perez and Daniel Bard who took home their respected trophies for each league. Who will it be for this season?
American League: Trey Mancini (Orioles)
Nobody looks down upon Trey Mancini. The above-average outfielder/first baseman is a great example of a great player on a terrible team. In 2019, Mancini hit .291 with 35 home runs and 97 runs batted in. He was walking on air. But then, seemingly out of the blue in the offseason, Mancini found out he was diagnosed with stage three colon cancer. As a result, he missed the entirety of the 2020 season after having surgery to remove a malignant tumor. He began chemotherapy for six months and was very skeptical if he would even return to baseball.
Then, a miracle happened. He wrapped up chemotherapy last September and garnered “perfect scans” in December. On February 28, Mancini showed up at the Orioles Spring Training camp for the 2021 season. In his first live at-bat in over a year, Mancini ripped a single. This is the essence of a comeback player. Pending that he doesn’t get hurt, I don’t see any reason why Mancini won’t win Comeback Player of the Year for the American League.
2020: Did not play
2021 Projected: .282, 23 home runs, 82 runs batted in
National League: David Price (Dodgers)
David Price is a name who people would associate with baseball around 2012. The man was a stud and an inning workhorse for the Tampa Bay Rays. The American League then began trading and bouncing him around the league before finally settling in Boston. Things did not go as advertised for the lengthy lefty. He was solid but nothing like he was with Tampa Bay. His ERA across four seasons for the Bosox is 3.87. This is a far cry from a 3.18 earned run average with Tampa as well as a Cy Young Award.
Now with the Los Angeles Dodgers, Price looks to clean up his act. He sat out all of 2020 to protect himself and his family from COVID-19. David has something to prove as a member of the Dodgers. He is surrounded by pitching excellence in Walker Buehler, Clayton Kershaw, and Trevor Bauer. I could see him performing incredibly well facing only the National League West teams. The only team he’d have to really look out for is the powerhouse Padres. Keep in mind, when he was in Boston toward the latter half of the 2010s, every team in the AL East had scary lineups. This did not fare well for Price. The west coast will suit him well, and I see the 35-year-old winning Comeback Player of the Year.
2020: Did not play
2021: 15-6, 3.25 ERA, 189 strikeouts
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