2nd Annual Halos Heaven Awards: Day 4: Buttercup Award

The Buttercup Brothers - Jeff Gross

A dubious honor that nobody wants to garner...but someone winds up doing the work dirty enough to "earn" the award. Who built us up and let us down more than anyone this season?

It wouldn't be a complete Halos Heaven series if we didn't have something coarsely sardonic to use in jest, right?

The other debut award along with yesterday's Trout-Salmon Award, this "honor" goes to the player that comes in with the expectation of success, and gives us a reality of dismal failure...or at least, disappointment. A season far below their averages. C.J. Wilson, Vernon Wells and Scott Downs are examples of 2012 candidates. But there's no point in looking back to last season, when this most recent one still smarts. So let's proceed.

The inaugural Buttercup winner came in riding a multi-year deal that should be handed to a player of his prior caliber. Changing his offseason regimen and coming into camp lighter is something that certainly didn't help him. A hot final third of the season was not enough to completely salvage his season; although it did make his final totals appear less gruesome, we as Angels fans know exactly what was expected of this player. He didn't live up. Hopefully 2014 tells a different story, but as for 2013, the winner is...

2013 BUTTERCUP AWARD: JOSH HAMILTON (.250/.307/.432, 21 HR, 79 RBI, 16 GIDP, 108 OPS+, 1.5 WAR)

The fact that he still managed 1.5 WAR is surprising. Many factors are to blame for his season; among them are the fact that he was never a good hitter at Angel Stadium (and his home splits of .236/.289/.401 with just 9 home runs in 267 at-bats should be telling of that); his leaner, less muscular physique coming into spring training; a back foot that he could not seem to keep planted whenever he swung; a suddenly terrible sense of plate discipline; a .204/.252/.296 slash in April. Though he put it together from August on (batting .296/.351/.459 with 5 HR and 29 RBI), it didn't save his largely disappointing season. The hope is that he can turn things around; he's said he will be bulking back up and returning to his normal routine this offseason, and maybe a full season in Anaheim has taught him a thing or two of how to hit at home. The voting totals:

Josh Hamilton OF 7 1 2 40
Joe Blanton SP/RP 2 4 3 25
Albert Pujols DH/1B 2 3 1 20
Tommy Hanson SP/RP - 1 2 5
Ernesto Frieri RP - 1 1 4
Jerome Williams SP/RP - - 1 1

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