BIG LEAGUE – Albert Pujols and Justin Verlander win Comeback Player of the Year Award

Justin Verlander and albert pujols are two of the most decorated superstars in baseball history, each adding one more honor to his name on Tuesday night.

Verlander and Pujols were named winners of the Award for Comeback Player of the Year 2022 in the American League and the National League, respectively, by Major League Baseball.

Verlander is the first Astros player to win the Comeback Player of the Year award, while Pujols became the third Cardinals player to do so, joining Chris Carpenter (2009) and Lance Berkman (2011). MLB has awarded the honor annually since 2005 to one player in each league “who has re-emerged on the field during the season.” Winners are determined after a vote by 30 MLB.com reporters.

For verlander, the latest honor comes less than a week after he unanimously won the AL Cy Young Award. After being limited to just six innings in 2020 and missing the entire 2021 season due to Tommy John surgery, the Astros ace returned this season to go 18-4 with a 1.75 ERA, the lowest of any pitcher in the league. the American League since Pedro Martínez posted a 1.74 ERA in 2000.

Verlander, 39, led the American League in wins, ERA, WHIP (0.83), opponent batting average (.186) and opponent OPS (.497).

As for Pujols, 42, he signed with the cardinals just 10 days before Opening Day and proceeded to turn back the clock on his 22nd and final major league season.

Pujols fired it up down the stretch, smashing 18 homers in the second half on his way to becoming the fourth player in AL/NL history to hit. 700 home runs in his career, joining Barry Bonds, Hank Aaron, and Babe Ruth. The only player to hit more home runs than Pujols after the 2022 All-Star Game was AL MVP Award winner Aaron Judge (29).

Pujols hit 24 home runs, his most since he slugged 31 in 2016, and posted an .895 OPS, his highest since 2011, when he hit .906 in the season finale of his first stint with the Cardinals.

The Comeback Player of the Year award is the latest in a long line of accomplishments for Pujols, who also won the Rookie of the Year of the National League in 2001, three MVP awards, six Silver Sluggers, two Gold Gloves and a pair of World Series titles. He was also an 11-time All-Star and won the National League batting title in 2003.

Verlander adds this trophy to a collection that already includes the 2006 AL Rookie of the Year award, the 2011 AL MVP award, three Cy Young Awards and two World Series titles. A nine-time All-Star, Verlander also won the AL pitching Triple Crown in 2011 and owns a pair of ERA titles.

The other American League players who received votes for the Comeback of the Year They were Mike Trout (Angels), Matt Carpenter (Yankees) and Alex Bregman (Astros). On the National League side, other players receiving votes included Ronald Acuna Jr. (Braves), Mark Appel (Phillies), David Robertson (Phillies), Brandon Drury (Padres), Nick Martinez (Padres) and Ryan Helsley (Cardinals). ).

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