Texas Rangers

Pence’s season with Rangers produces a second comeback player award. One more is looming

The season that rejuvenated the career of Texas Rangers outfielder Hunter Pence has resulted in The Sporting News and MPB Players Association selecting him as the American League Comeback Player of the Year.

Pence parlayed an off-season swing change into being selected as the starting designated hitter for the AL All-Star team. A groin injury kept him from participating in the All-Star Game.

He earned his fourth career All-Star nod after posting a .962 OPS with 15 home runs in the first half. A back injury limited him to only 22 games in the second-half, and he finished with a .910 OPS, a .297 average and 18 homers.

Pence received The Sporting News award Wednesday and the MLBPA Players Choice award Thursday. Pence was one of three finalists, along with Chicago White Sox pitcher Lucas Giolito and Kansas City Royals outfielder Jorge Soler.

MLB will announce its comeback players next month.

Pence is the eighth player in Rangers history to be named the top comeback player by The Sporting News and the fourth to win the Players Choice comeback award. Prince Fielder was the last in 2015, when he also won the MLB award.

Pence, an Arlington native, said that he hasn’t decided if he will play a 14th MLB season in 2020.

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After 12 seasons covering the Rangers for the Star-Telegram, Jeff Wilson knows that baseball is a 24/7/365 business and there is far more to baseball than just the 162 games each season. There’s also more to Jeff -- like a family and impressive arsenals of Titleist hats and adidas shoes -- but sometimes it’s hard to tell.