Prediction: Tim Hudson, Francisco Liriano Lead Comeback Players of the Year
With the baseball season set to start on Sunday, it’s time to kick off prediction week here at The Ghost of Moonlight Graham. Each day I will make predictions on the 2010 season. Here is the schedule for prediction week:
Monday – AL & NL Comeback Player of the Year
Tuesday – AL & NL Rookie of the Year
Wednesday – AL & NL Cy Young award
Thursday – AL & NL Most Valuable Player
Friday – Division winners, Playoff, & World Series prediction
Since today is Monday, I will take a look at who will win the AL & NL Comeback Player of the Year award. The Comeback Player of the Year award was officially recognized by Major League Baseball in 2005 and goes to the players who have re-emerged on the baseball field during a given season.
In the past, players such as Nomar Garciaparra (2006), Cliff Lee (2008), and Chris Carpenter (2009) have won this award. Let’s look at who will be up for this award and my prediction as to who will win.
Candidates: Jose Reyes, Chris Young (San Diego Padres), Conor Jackson, Brad Lidge, Jeff Francis, Brandon Webb, Tim Hudson.
Winner: Tim Hudson, Atlanta Braves
Reason Why: I was very torn between Reyes, Jackson, and Hudson, but I really like Hudson this year. Hudson pitched in seven games for the Braves last year, but is now fully healed from Tommy John surgery and should be back to normal in 2010.
Hudson was never a pitcher who relied on strikeouts to get a batter out, so the fact that he is now 34 isn’t a concern to me. In those seven games that Hudson pitched last year for the Braves, his groundball percentage was 62.2 percent, which tells me he’s still got it.
With the Braves fielding a competitive team, Hudson could win 15-plus games in 2010.
Candidates: Ben Sheets, Grady Sizemore, Jake Westbrook, Coco Crisp, Francisco Liriano, Pat Burrell
Winner: Francisco Liriano, Minnesota Twins
Reason Why: Whether it be as a closer or a starter, I think Liriano is going to have a nice year in 2010. And this has nothing to do with the fact that I drafted him in my fantasy league this year.
Last year was Liriano’s first full year in the majors since coming back from Tommy John surgery and to say he had a rough year was an understatement. Liriano posted a 5.80 ERA and really didn’t help the Twins out in any way last year.
Liriano was dominate in the Dominican Winter League and has had a nice spring as well. All signs point to him having a comeback year in 2010.
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