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Rodney, Posey MLB's top Comeback Players

10/19/2012 5:01 PM ET
By Lou DiPietro
San Francisco Giants catcher/first baseman Buster Posey and Tampa Bay Rays closer Fernando Rodney have been named MLB.com’s Comeback Players of the Year.

Posey, who was the NL Rookie of the Year in 2010 but missed most of 2011 after suffering a broken ankle in a horrific home-plate collision, took the NL award by a landslide, garnering 27 of 30 first-place votes from a panel of MLB.com’s beat writers.

The 25-year-old returned from the injury suffered last May to play in 148 games – 111 at catcher with the rest at first base or designated hitter – in 2012, and established himself as a strong candidate for the NL MVP award. Posey hit an NL-leading .336 with 24 home runs, 103 RBI, 39 doubles, 78 runs scored, and a .957 OPS, and defensively, he was second in the league with 31 baserunners caught stealing.

He also finished in the NL Top 10 in multiple-hit games, total bases, hits, doubles, walks and sacrifice flies, and his strong play in the second half helped the Giants win the NL West and reach the NLCS, where as of Friday they were down three games to one to St. Louis.

Rodney, 35, was deposed as the Angels’ closer last season after going 3-5 with a 4.50 ERA in 39 games, and he signed with Tampa Bay last winter as bullpen depth. However, Rodney took over for injured Rays closer Kyle Farnsworth in Spring Training and never looked back, earning the first All-Star berth of his career and having arguably the best season by a reliever in MLB history.

In 2012, Rodney set an MLB reliever record with a 0.60 ERA – allowing just five earned runs in 74.2 innings – and was 48-for-50 in save opportunities for the 90-72 Rays. He also finished the season with a 0.78 WHIP and just 15 walks against 76 strikeouts in 76 appearances.

Those numbers also earned Rodney MLB.com’s Delivery Man of the Year Award, and also likely earned him serious consideration in the race for the 2012 AL Cy Young Award.

Unlike the MVP, Rookie of the Year, Cy Young, and other awards voted on by the Baseball Writers Association of America, the Comeback Player of the Year Awards are voted on by a panel of the 30 beat writers who cover each team for MLB.com.

Follow Lou DiPietro on Twitter: @LouDiPietroYES

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