KANSAS CITY, MO –Kansas City Royals third baseman Mike Moustakas was selected as the American League Comeback Player of the Year by The Sporting News today. The publication’s awards are voted on by a panel of players in each league. Moustakas is the second Royal to garner the award, joining Bret Saberhagen, who was named AL Comeback Player of the Year in 1987.
Moustakas, 29, enjoyed a career year after being limited to just 27 games in 2016 due to a torn ACL (anterior cruciate ligament). In 2017, he slugged a career-best 38 home runs to set the franchise’s single-season record, passing Steve Balboni’s 36 homers in 1985. Moustakas’ home run total also tied for fifth in the American League and eighth in the Majors. He also set career-bests in runs scored (75), RBI (85), slugging percentage (.521) and total bases (289). He was named an All-Star for the second time in his career, winning the MLB Esurance Final Vote, while he also became the third Royal to participate in the Home Run Derby, joining Bo Jackson (1989) and Danny Tartabull (1991).
Moose hit 25 of his 38 home runs before the All-Star break, which also set a club record, passing Jermaine Dye’s 22 roundtrippers in the first half in 2000. Of his 38 home runs, 17 of them either tied the score or gave the Royals the lead, including his second career walk-off homer on June 6 off Houston’s Ken Giles in a 9-7 come-from-behind win. He led the team with 13 game-winning RBI and was second with 19 go-ahead RBI this season.