Major League Baseball on Monday night announced the two winners of the Comeback Player of the Year award for 2021: Buster Posey of the Giants in the National League and Trey Mancini of the Orioles for the American League.
The award, which has been handed out annually since 2005, is presented to the player in each league with the strongest re-emergence during the season and is voted on by the 30 MLB.com team beat writers.
Posey, who not long ago announced his retirement, opted out of the COVID-compromised 2020 season but then came back in 2021 to author one of the best seasons of his career. The veteran catcher, who may one day land in the Hall of Fame, this past season batted .304/.390/.399 for the 107-win Giants with 18 home runs in 113 games and 892 innings of plus defense behind the plate. In the postseason, Posey also batted .300/.300/.550 during the Giants' eventual loss to the Dodgers in the best-of-five NLDS. His 58 career postseason hits are now the most in franchise history. Posey previously won the NL Comeback Player of the Year award in 2012.
As for Mancini, he missed all of the 2020 season after undergoing surgery for Stage 3 colon cancer. In his comeback season of 2021, Mancini batted .255/.326/.432 (104 OPS+) with 21 home runs and 33 doubles in 147 games for Baltimore. Mancini during the 2021 season also tallied his 100th career home run. Notably, Mancini also finished runner-up to Pete Alonso of the Mets in the 2021 Home Run Derby.