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Angels' Kendrys Morales finishes close 2nd in The Sporting News AL Comeback Player of the Year

After missing most of 2010 and all of 2011 with a broken left leg, the Angels' designated hitter/first baseman made a big contribution to a high-powered Angels lineup in 2012.

Gary A. Vasquez-US PRESSWIRE

Los Angeles Angels designated hitter/first baseman Kendrys Morales fell just short of winning The Sporting News AL Comeback Player of the Year award, as voted on by 203 major league players. The 29-year-old finished second in the voting with 18 votes, behind award-winner Adam Dunn of the Chicago White Sox (19 votes).

Orange County Register Angels beat writer Jeff Fletcher (and others) have argued that Morales is more deserving of the award, because he battled back from injury rather than bounced back from being awful (see: Dunn's 11 home runs, 42 RBI, .159 batting average and 177 strikeouts in 2011). Morales missed most of the 2010 season and all of 2011 after breaking his left leg while celebrating after a walk off grand slam against the Seattle Mariners on May 29, 2010.

In 134 games for the Halos in 2012, Morales hit .273 with 22 home runs and 73 RBI, exceeding what Angels fans, players, coaches and front office staff thought he'd be able to accomplish after such a terrible injury. In 2009, the Cuban-born Morales finished fifth in the AL MVP vote after hitting .306 with 34 home runs and 108 RBI.