Tampa Bay 1B Carlos Pena is AL comeback player of the year after hitting 46 homers


Sultan of Swat
Staff member
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) -- One season after being released by three teams, Carlos Pena put together the best performance in Tampa Bay Devil Rays history and was chosen Tuesday as Major League Baseball's AL comeback player of the year. The 28-year-old slugger batted a career-best .282 with a club-record 46 home runs and 121 RBIs after joining the Devil Rays in spring training as a non-roster invitee

"I knew in my heart it was going to be a great season ... but I went beyond what I envisioned," Pena said.
Last year, he homered once in 18 games for Boston and spent most of the season in Triple-A with the Red Sox and New York Yankees. He hit 27 homers and drove in 82 runs for Detroit in 2004, but slipped to 18 homers and 44 RBIs the following season and was released by the Tigers in March 2006.
Pena signed with the Devil Rays in January. He was reassigned to the minors late in spring training, but wound up on the opening-day roster because of an injury to Greg Norton.
"Winning the comeback player of the year award is wonderful, but I really do hope that he gets some MVP votes also," Devil Rays manager Joe Maddon said. "He puts those numbers up with the Red Sox, the Yankees or whoever this year, they'd be clamoring for him to win the award right now. I definitely believes he deserves some kind of respect there also."
Besides setting Devil Rays records for home runs and RBIs, Pena scored a team-high 99 runs and set club marks for walks (103), on-base percentage (.411) and slugging percentage (.627).
Pena is the first player in major league history to hit 40 or more homers the season after being released. He's also the 11th AL player to have 100 walks, 45 homers and 120 RBIs in a season.
"It's like a gift," he said of the award. "You never sit there and expect things to come to you. ... I'm very grateful, very happy. It's the most fun I've had playing baseball since I can remember."
The left-handed hitting first baseman also was a positive influence on young players in the Devil Rays' clubhouse. "He's willing to give of himself for the rest of the group," Maddon said. "You talk about leadership, I think you really have to have enough energy left over at the end of the day to give to somebody else, and I think that's what he does. We need more of that. His professional approach is really rubbing off on a lot of the other guys."



Registered Member
This is well deserved, the guy had a monster year. Too be as bad as he was last year and to be this good this year is amazing.


Sultan of Swat
Staff member
I agree no one expected him to hit these numbers. He's always been a home run hitter, but not like this, and I believe his best total for home runs before this season was 27, but he was alos hitting .217 or something of that nature. But this year he had 40+ home runs, 100+ rbi's and he hit over .280. Theres no other player in the League that deserves this award.


#1 Spammer of FC
Wow. What a year for this guy. He's an amazing hitter and I think that he's really found his stroke now. With the right tutoring he can really go far IMO. This year was a break through for the guy and I hope it continues.


That was a monster year he had, congrats to the guy. To bad tampa did shit all year though. I think this team has some promise though, if they could upgrade their rotation and bullpen.