Now that the formalities are done and over with, let's get down to business, shall we?
We begin with the David Eckstein Award. Last year's winner was Erick Aybar, grabbing the inaugural hardware with a .290 batting average and a WAR of 4.0.
This year's winner of the award was one who initially didn't even know if he would be on the major league roster at all. He was one of seven signed to a minor league contract by Jerry Dipoto after last season's end. After putting up a seemingly unnoticed but remarkable spring training, this player wound up getting an even bigger role than initially expected--for a lot longer than anyone would have thought. Initially a bench guy, he wound up playing in 129 games this season, and putting up respectable enough numbers to all but guarantee him a spot on the 25-man roster next year, regardless of capacity. And the winner is...
2013 DAVID ECKSTEIN AWARD: J.B. SHUCK (.293/.331/.366, 128 H, .988 FLD%, 0.9 WAR)
In a season where many guys either were forced to step into larger roles or simply had more playing time entrusted to them, there were few who actually made the most of it. Shuck was one of them. Certainly not a sabermetric darling by any means, but one who personifies "grit and sheer heart" like Eckstein himself, Shuck made the team over Kole Calhoun for the bench outfield spot. After Peter Bourjos' torrid start shrieked to a halt due to injury, Shuck stepped into the role and surprised a lot of people. Bourjos' injury woes continued and Shuck wound up with 478 plate appearances and leading all AL rookies in several statistics--not to mention his unbelievable diving catch into the stands to rob Jose Bautista of a home run back in August. The voting totals:
Italics denote that a player was not eligible for this award, but received votes.
|Dane De La Rosa||RP||1||1||-||8|