11/5/2012 9:45 P.M. ET
Dunn takes Players Choice AL Comeback award
By Scott Merkin / MLB.com
CHICAGO -- Adam Dunn is now batting .667 in 2012 Comeback Player of the Year honors.
Although Tampa Bay closer Fernando Rodney won the Major League Baseball American League Comeback Player, as voted on by the 30 MLB.com beat writers, the White Sox designated hitter captured the Sporting News honor earlier this offseason and the Players Choice award on Monday night.
Dunn beat out teammate Alex Rios, considered by many as the 2012 White Sox Most Valuable Player, and Kendrys Morales of the Angels for the Players Choice honor. Both the Sporting News and Players Choice awards were voted on by Dunn's peers, which means a great deal to the 32-year-old veteran.
"To me, that's the most important," Dunn told MLB Network, as part of the Players Choice Awards show. "You compete against these guys each and every day. For them to vote you anything, I don't care what it is, it's definitely an honor."
The 2012 season was not perfect for the White Sox designated hitter, as he hit .204 and his 222 strikeouts left him two short of the single-season Major League record. But Dunn, who reached his 1,000th career RBI on Aug. 13 and hit his 400th career home run on Aug. 18, made an impact throughout the season.
Dunn's final statistical line included 41 homers, 96 RBIs, 105 walks and 87 runs scored over 151 games. He topped the Majors in walks and 4.43 pitches per plate appearance.
Rios set career-highs with a .304 average, 25 homers and 91 RBIs, while adding in 184 hits, 93 runs scored, 37 doubles, eight triples, 23 stolen bases and stellar defense in right field. Those numbers came after Rios hit .227 with 13 homers and 44 RBIs in 2011.
"It was good to see," Dunn said of Rios during a conference call after winning the Sporting News Comeback honor. "He's one of the most talented guys in baseball. It's one of those things where he should be really productive like that from now on."
Dunn's 2011 statistics were forgettable, something the affable slugger has purged from his memory. Showing off his usual humor and candor during Monday night's interview, Dunn quipped that the 2011 season never happened in his mind.
"I'm still 31 years old. I'll be 32 on Nov. 9," said a smiling Dunn, who actually turns 33 on Friday. "I really don't remember 2011 too much. I did a pretty good job of blocking that out, doing anything I could to get that out of there."
Players Choice Awards benefits the Major League Baseball Players Trust and have been presented since 1992. Balloting for the 2012 Players Choice Awards was conducted in mid-September under the supervision of accounting firm KPMG.
The 2012 Players Choice Award winners in all categories will designate charities to receive grants totaling $260,000 from the Major League Baseball Players Trust, the charitable foundation created and run by the players themselves. The Players Trust raises funds and attention for issues affecting the needy and promotes community involvement.
White Sox pitcher Chris Sale was selected as one of the final three for AL Outstanding Pitcher, an award captured by Tampa Bay's David Price. First baseman Paul Konerko joined Texas' Michael Young and Atlanta's Chipper Jones as finalists for the Marvin Miller Man of the Year award, given annually to the player who inspires others to higher levels of achievement by his on-field performances and contributions to his community. Jones was selected as the winner.
Detroit's Miguel Cabrera won both Player of the Year and AL Outstanding Player.