Ellsbury played just 18 games in 2010 because of injuries. The outfielder posted career highs in nearly every offensive category this season to earn the American League honor. He hit .321 with 32 home runs, 105 RBIs and 39 stolen bases.
Berkman hit a combined .248 with 14 home runs and 58 RBIs between the Houston Astros and New York Yankees in 2010.According to CBSSports.com's Matt Snyder, Berkman was out of shape, slow and had lost tons of bat speed. "Then the Cardinals signed him and told him he was going to play right field. That, in combination with reported embarrassment over his drastic loss in performance, caused Berkman to significantly step up his offseason training regimen," Snyder says. It paid off. This season, he batted .301 with 31 home runs and 94 RBIs for the Cardinals, who are in the NLCS.
The 30 team beat reporters from MLB.com vote for the comeback player awards.
Comeback Players of the Year Since 2005
2011 Jacoby Ellsbury, Boston
2010 Francisco Liriano, Minnesota
2009 Aaron Hill, Toronto
2008 Cliff Lee, Cleveland
2007 Carlos Pena, Tampa Bay
2006 Jim Thome, Chicago
2005 Jason Giambi, N.Y. Yankees
2011 Lance Berkman, St. Louis
2010 Tim Hudson, Atlanta
2009 Chris Carpenter, St. Louis
2008 Brad Lidge, Philadelphia
2007 Dmitri Young, Washington
2006 Nomar Garciaparra, L.A. Dodgers
2005 Ken Griffey Jr., Cincinnati