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Posey, Crawford recognized by peers for comeback seasons

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Buster Posey Brandon Crawford

This figures to be a busy awards season for the Giants, who have the heavy favorites for Executive of the Year and Manager of the Year, along with a leading candidate for NL MVP. The recognition started Thursday when a couple of veterans were named finalists for the Players Choice Award for NL Comeback Player of the Year. 

Buster Posey and Brandon Crawford join Cincinnati Reds first baseman Joey Votto as the finalists for the award, which is selected by peers. The winner will be named Oct. 28.

Posey is the most traditional of the nominees, while Crawford and Votto are being recognized for having huge bounceback seasons. After opting out of the 2020 season so that he could spend time with adopted twin daughters and not risk their health, Posey returned and played as well as he has since he was NL MVP in 2012. 

Posey batted .304 and hit 18 homers, more than he had in 2018-19 combined. Posey's .889 OPS was his highest since 2012 and he carried that into the postseason, going 6-for-20 with a long homer and two doubles. Posey won MLB's version of the award in 2012.

Crawford raised his OPS by over 100 points and hit a career-high 24 homers while playing the kind of defense that has him in contention for his first Gold Glove Award since 2017. He was an All-Star for the first time in three years and is one of the leading MVP candidates after putting up a six-win season at the age of 34. 

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Votto turned 38 in September, which makes his comeback season truly remarkable. His .938 OPS was his highest since he finished second in the MVP race in 2017 and he hit 36 homers, one off the career-high he set in 2010. 

The winners of the Players Choice Awards will be announced on Oct. 28 on the evening SportsCenter. The Giants did not have any other nominees. The four finalists for NL Outstanding Player are Bryce Harper, Juan Soto, Fernando Tatis Jr. and Austin Riley. The finalists for Outstanding Pitcher are Corbin Burnes, Max Scherzer and Zack Wheeler. 

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