Fielder wins AL Comeback Player of the Year Award

Fielder wins AL Comeback Player of the Year Award

ARLINGTON -- Rangers first baseman Prince Fielder has been selected as the American League Comeback Player of the Year Award winner.

Fielder earned the award after returning from season-ending neck surgery in 2014 to hit .305 with 23 home runs and 98 RBIs. He had a .378 on-base percentage and a .463 slugging percentage. Fielder was third in the league in hits, sixth in hitting and ninth in RBIs in helping Texas win the AL West.

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Prince on winning Comeback Award

"It's really awesome," Fielder said on MLB Network. "It was a lot of hard work to get back and be able to play."

Acquired from Detroit on Nov. 20, 2013, Fielder played in just 42 games for the Rangers in 2014, hitting .247 with three home runs and 15 RBIs. His last game was on May 16 before undergoing season-ending surgery on May 27 for a cervical fusion of the C5-C6 discs in his neck.

"At first, it was just a lot of stuff for my neck and stuff for my shoulder to allow me to stop using my upper body," Fielder said. "I was trying to get my legs into it and to use my hips properly. I kind of felt I'd be confident to at least be able to play. But I didn't know how I'd play."

The Comeback Player of the Year Awards are officially sanctioned by Major League Baseball and are presented annually to one player in each league. The 30 club beat reporters from MLB.com selected the winners from an original list of 30 candidates. Pitcher Matt Harvey of the New York Mets won the 2015 National League Comeback Player of the Year Award.

Past winners of the Comeback Player of the Year Awards include: Casey McGehee and Chris Young (2014); Francisco Liriano and Mariano Rivera ('13); Fernando Rodney and Buster Posey ('12); Jacoby Ellsbury and Lance Berkman ('11); Liriano and Tim Hudson ('10); Aaron Hill and Chris Carpenter ('09); Cliff Lee and Brad Lidge ('08); Carlos Peña and Dmitri Young ('07); Jim Thome and Nomar Garciaparra ('06); and Jason Giambi and Ken Griffey, Jr. ('05).

T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Postcards from Elysian Fields, follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.