2nd Annual Halos Heaven Awards: Day 5: First-Time Halo Award

Ronald Martinez

It's like the rookie of the year but expanded. Who made the best of their Angels debut season amongst rookies, trades, waiver claims and free agents alike?

Now that Buttercup has left us, let's try and get back to a positive note.

We're coming up over the hump in these award announcements; three have passed, and after today, three will be left.

This award, as initially explained, goes to the player who had the best first season as an Angel. This is not necessarily, however, a rookie of the year award, especially since that has already come and gone. Last year, this was limited to acquisitions; however, after a minor uproar, rookies will now be included as well from here on out. Last year's winner was Albert Pujols, with a .285/.343/.516 slash, 30 HR and a team-leading 105 RBI--this all despite a horrific first six weeks. Who garners the award this year? Let's see.

The difference this player made can not be overstated. Whenever any player goes down for a length of the season, it hurts. When there's not an ample backup, it hurts even more. For example, in 2010 when Kendrys Morales shattered his ankle, we were scrambling for a qualified replacement. Howie Kendrick, Mike Napoli and the ever-gifted, indispensable Michael Ryan (remember him?) all wound up splitting time at first. In 2011, however, when we discovered Kendrys STILL would not return, we had Mark Trumbo at the ready, and, despite his atrocious on-base percentage, a consistent presence was still appreciated. So, when you have a replacement player that can hit close to .300 and fill in for almost 80% of the season, he's done a good job. Ladies and gentlemen...

2013 FIRST-TIME HALO AWARD: J.B. SHUCK (.293/.331/.366, 128 H, .988 FLD%, 0.9 WAR)

The Shuck love continues, folks. He picks up his third award for, well...basically, doing well when it mattered, which was spring training. Kole Calhoun looked poised for the fourth outfielder role this season, but a hideous spring showing led the role to fall into Shuck's lap, whose role was still thought only to be as a defensive replacement and the occasional spell for Hamilton. Peter Bourjos, however, decided this was a great year to have paper skin and glass bones. So Shuck became our starting left fielder, and Trout shifted back to center field. His WAR is undercut by a terrible dWAR, which in turn was marred by a horrendous first half defensively. Love him or hate him, the guy did a great job, and wound up leading all AL rookies in several counting stats. The voting totals:

J.B. Shuck OF 7 3 - 42
Jason Vargas SP 2 3 - 19
Dane De La Rosa RP 1 1 6 14
Kole Calhoun OF 1 2 - 11
Chris Nelson 3B - 1 - 3
Josh Hamilton OF - - 3 3
Grant Green 2B - - 1 1
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