San Francisco Giants catcher Buster Posey and Tampa Bay Rays closer Fernando Rodney have been named Major League Baseball's Comeback Players of the Year, according to the league's official Twitter feed.
Buster Posey wins 2012 NL Comeback Player of the Year Award; Fernando Rodney gets 2012 AL Comeback Player of the Year Award.— MLB (@MLB) October 19, 2012
Posey suffered a serious leg injury during a collision at home plate early last season, limiting him to just 45 games. He returned to full strength in time for opening day and proceeded to put together the best season of his young career.
The 25-year-old catcher hit .336 to lead the majors along with 24 home runs, 103 RBI and 78 runs scored. He also finished in the top five among all hitters in OPS and WAR (FanGraphs), making the selection a relatively simple one.
Posey adds the award to a trophy case that already includes the National League Rookie of the Year Award from 2010 and the Golden Spikes Award, given to the top amateur player in the country, in 2008.
When he first got injured, there were legitimate questions about his ability to return to an elite level because it was such a cringe-worthy moment.
Not only did he get back to that level, he exceeded it and established himself as one of the game's best players.
In the American League, Rodney got the nod after a dominant season at the back end of Tampa Bay's bullpen. After enduring five straight seasons with an ERA above 4.20, he was like a completely different pitcher for the Rays.
Rodney finished the season with a microscopic ERA of 0.60 and an equally impressive WHIP of 0.78. He racked up 48 saves, blowing just two chances along the way, while striking out more than a batter per inning.
It was one of the most amazing turnarounds fans will ever see, and it can be attributed to improved command. The veteran reliever's best walks-per-nine ratio in a season prior to 2012 was 3.48, and he had a dreadful 7.88 mark last year.
It was 1.81 in his bounce-back 2012 season.
Posey and Rodney join last year's winners, Jacoby Ellsbury and Lance Berkman, on a list that also includes marquee names like Ken Griffey, Jr. and Cliff Lee.