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Pena, Young win 2007 Major League Baseball Comeback Player of the Year Award10/02/2007 10:13 AM ET
Carlos Peña of the Tampa Bay Devil Rays and Dmitri Young of the Washington Nationals are the recipients of the 2007 Major League Baseball Comeback Player of the Year Award, it was announced today. The Comeback Player of the Year Award is officially sanctioned by Major League Baseball, and is presented annually to one player in each League who has re-emerged on the baseball field during the season.
Peña, a non-roster Spring Training invitee, established several Club season records in 2007, including home runs (46), runs batted in (121), walks (103), on-base percentage (.411) and slugging percentage (.627). For the season, the Devil Rays' first baseman batted .282 with a Club-high 99 runs and 307 total bases. The left-handed slugger's 46 home runs placed him fourth in the Major Leagues, and his 121 RBI ranked sixth, respectively.
The 1998 first round draft pick was the first player in Major League history to hit 40-plus home runs in the subsequent season after being released. Additionally, only 11 players have hit as many home runs in their first year with a new Club. Peña was the 11th player in American League history to reach 100 walks, 45 home runs and 120 RBI in a single season.
Young, a non-roster Spring Training invitee, re-established himself as one of the game's most productive hitters while earning his second All-Star Game selection. He finished tied for eighth in the National League in batting with a career-high .320 average. Young batted above .300 against both left- (.301) and right-handed pitchers (.327) and with runners in scoring position (.304). The switch-hitter also added 13 home runs and 74 RBI, while his 38 doubles were his most since 1998.
The 1991 first round draft pick went 4-for-4 in consecutive games (5/31 and 6/1), tallying eight hits in as many plate appearances, tying a franchise record set by Andre Dawson (Expos, 1983). In 2006, he was limited to just 48 games, but in 2007 he rebounded to play in 136.
The 30 Club beat reporters from MLB.com, the official Web site of Major League Baseball, selected the winners for the 2007 Major League Baseball Comeback Player of the Year Award. Past winners of the Award include: Jason Giambi and Ken Griffey, Jr. (2005); and Jim Thome and Nomar Garciaparra (2006).
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.