Players Choice Awards comeback finalists returned to elite levels in 2015

The Players Choice Awards finalists for Comeback Player -- Prince Fielder, Kendrys Morales and Alex Rodriguez in the American League and Carlos Gonzalez, Matt Harvey and Joey Votto in the National League -- all returned to an elite level of play and lifted their clubs this season.

The two Comeback Player awards will be announced during the hour-long 2015 Players Choice Awards show on MLB Network on Monday (Nov. 9) at 8 p.m. ET.  The program will be presented by MLB The Show™ and sponsored by Majestic Athletic.

The Players Choice Awards, in which the players recognize each other's excellence on and off the field, have been presented by the Major League Baseball Players Association since 1992, with the Players Trust providing more than $4 million in charitable grants to causes selected by the winning players.

Each of the comeback player winners will receive a $20,000 grant from the Trust that will go to a charity or charities that they select.

Since his first full season with the Brewers in 2006, Fielder had played all 162 games four times and had never played fewer than 157 games before 2014, when his season was cut off in May due to a herniated neck disc that required surgery. In 2015, he picked right up where he left off, batting .307 with a .378 OBP and 98 RBIs, each of which ranked in the top 10 in the AL. Along the way the 31-year-old slugger hit his 300th career home run and was named to the AL All-Star team.

Rodriguez, 39, was suspended for the entire 2014 season by MLB, but he immediately became a key figure in the Yankees' lineup and clubhouse upon his return this spring. Over 147 games, A-Rod hit 33 home runs, his highest total since 2008, and drove in 86 runs. He passed Willie Mays for fourth on the all-time home run list and got his 3,000th hit.

After declining a qualifying offer from the Mariners for 2014, Morales didn't sign with the Twins until June and never really got going. He batted only .218 with eight homers and 42 RBIs. Getting a fresh start with the Royals, the Cuban-born Morales returned to form, hitting .291 with 22 homers and 106 RBIs for the World Series champions.

The NL finalists overcame a different set of obstacles to return to their customary levels of performance in the 2015 season.

Carlos Gonzalez's 2014 season was sabotaged by two injuries. He had a growth inside his index finger that finally needed to be surgically removed in June, and then after returning to the Rockies in mid-July he played just 18 games before returning to the disabled list with a torn patella tendon in his left knee. In 2015, the left-handed hitting outfielder from Venezuela achieved career highs with 153 games and 40 home runs while knocking in 97 runs and placing third in the league with a .540 slugging percentage.

Matt Harvey, who started the 2013 All-Star Game for the NL, missed the entire 2014 season after undergoing Tommy John surgery, then roared back to make 29 starts, going 13-8 with a 2.71 ERA and 188 strikeouts over 189 1/3 regular-season innings to help the Mets win the NL East.

After injuries limited him to 62 games in 2014, Joey Votto returned with a vengeance, putting up a second-in-the-NL 7.0 offensive WAR. Maybe the game's most disciplined hitter, Votto batted .314 with 29 homers and 80 RBIs. The 31-year-old from Canada also led the league with 143 walks, placed second with a .459 on-base percentage and fourth with a .541 slugging percentage.

The winners and finalists for each award were selected by players on Sept. 16 in league-wide balloting conducted under the supervision of accounting firm KPMG.