Prediction Week (much better than Shark Week) kicks off here at the Ghost of Moonlight Graham with predicting the National League and American League Comeback Players of the Year.
Let’s see who might be up for the award this year and who I think will win the Comeback Player of the Year in each league.
Predicted Winner: Nate McLouth, Atlanta Braves.
Reason Why: McLouth had the moniker “best player on a bad team” when he was a member of the Pittsburgh Pirates and now he has the moniker of “complete bust” with the Braves.
In a year-plus with the Braves, McLouth has a .229/.330/.379 slash line with 17 HRs and 19 steals. However, if you compare his peripherals with the Pirates to the Braves, they are about the same. The big difference in McLouth with the Pirates and Braves is health and batting average.
McLouth is healthy now and will be a big part of the Braves’ offense in 2011.
Predicted Winner: Grady Sizemore, Cleveland Indians
Reason Why: Very tough call with this one. I think everyone I put on the list of candidates has a legit chance to not only comeback and be productive in 2011, but win this award. In the end, I think Sizemore will win it.
Sizemore played in only 106 games in 2009, 33 games in 2010 and had microfracture surgery in June. The Indians are bringing Sizemore along slowly this spring and will have him begin the season on the 15-day DL.
Despite that, he is still only 28 years old and it’s not like microfracture surgery is a career ender. Just look at Amar’e Stoudemire and he is doing just fine playing a much more grueling sport on the knees.
Do I think Sizemore will ever return to his 2007-2008 form? That might be a stretch. But I do think he will be healthy enough in 2011 to be a produce a .260/.345/.435 slash line with 15-20 HRs and 15 SBs.
Tomorrow, we will take a look at the AL and NL Rookie of the Year predictions.
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