SURPRISE, Ariz. -- The Rangers feel Yu Darvish can be an American League Cy Young Award winner, and that would be a first in franchise history.What would be an equally big award for the Rangers is if Shin-Soo Choo, who played in 48 games last season because of injuries, won
SURPRISE, Ariz. -- The Rangers feel Yu Darvish can be an American League Cy Young Award winner, and that would be a first in franchise history.
What would be an equally big award for the Rangers is if Shin-Soo Choo, who played in 48 games last season because of injuries, won the AL Comeback Player of the Year Award.
"I'll take it," Choo said. "If I'm healthy, I'm confident I can do it."
Last year, Choo hit .242 with seven home runs, 17 RBIs, a .357 on-base percentage and a .399 slugging percentage. For his career, he has a .280 batting average, .381 on-base percentage and .452 slugging percentage. He also averages 93 runs, 35 doubles, 20 home runs and 78 RBIs over 162 games.
If Choo can match those numbers or exceed them, he will definitely be a comeback candidate.
"I always dream about a big season," Choo said, "but now I'm not thinking about the end of the season. I'm just thinking about today and staying healthy. Nobody knows what will happen at the end of the year. So every day I just take care of my body and not look too far ahead."
Here are some other candidates who could win the AL Comeback Player of the Year Award.
The Indians nearly won it all without their All-Star outfielder, who played in only 11 games last year due to shoulder surgery. Cleveland could be right back in it again, and Brantley figures to play a big role.
A torn ACL limited him to just 27 games in 2016, a year after leading Kansas City to the promised land. He's also entering a contract year.
Shoulder surgery limited him to just three games last year, and even then, he went hitless in seven plate appearances. In 2015, he hit a career-low .245 in the first year of a $95 million contract with the Red Sox. He's slimmed down this spring and in line to be Boston's starting third baseman.
Injuries have limited him to 183 games the past two years, but a new start with an ambitious Yankees team in transition could be worthwhile.
T.R. Sullivan has covered the Rangers since 1989, and for MLB.com since 2006. Follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger and listen to his podcast. Daniel Kramer is a reporter for MLB.com based in Denver. Follow him on Twitter at @DKramer_.