This has been pretty fun, hasn't it?
I had hoped to greatly expand the voting pool for this year's awards, and contacted over 30 potential voters, with just 11 ballots. Not a big deal, however; I'm aiming to make participation simpler and easier for those who are members of the board. Also, if you'd like to join the Halos Heaven Voting Board for these awards and future countdowns on which we vote, just post your email in the comments below (if you feel comfortable doing so) and I'll add you for future voting!
So let's see. The winners list is now updated!
TROUT-SALMON AWARD: J.B. Shuck (2013)
BUTTERCUP AWARD: Josh Hamilton (2013)
DAVID ECKSTEIN AWARD: Erick Aybar (2012), J.B. Shuck (2013)
FIRST-TIME HALO AWARD: Albert Pujols (2012), J.B. Shuck (2013)
VLADIMIR GUERRERO AWARD: Mike Trout (2012), Mike Trout (2013)
DEAN CHANCE AWARD: Jered Weaver (2012), C.J. Wilson (2013)
MR. HALO: Mike Trout (2012), Mike Trout (2013)
The Shuck love this year was unreal. He bagged three awards, though two of them he will not be eligible for again (Trout-Salmon and First-Time Halo, for obvious reasons) next season. Hamilton had the distinctly dubious honor of winning the only negative award in the whole list--but unfortunately, that one CAN have repeat winners. Let's hope he averts a repeat crisis. Wilson, ever so opportunistically (and thankfully as well), had the most outstanding pitching season and was duly honored, though Weaver certainly made things interesting by matching Wilson's first-place votes. He did have the lower ERA ever so slightly (3.27 to Wilson's 3.39), but Wilson made every start this season, while Weaver missed 9 with a broken elbow. Durability proved key. And Trout? Well, he deserved each award he won--and he won them both as repeats! If he keeps the trend up, maybe one of them will get renamed in his honor.
Some names to potentially keep an eye on for next season:
Kole Calhoun may have missed out on the Trout-Salmon Award this season, but he could find himself a fixture in the lineup on a regular basis next season--and how sweet that would be. A successful stint in a starting slot could garner Calhoun an award or two next year. Luis Jimenez, should he have a regular role next season, will almost be a cinch to qualify for the Trout-Salmon Award, and the likes of Matt Shoemaker, Nick Maronde, Buddy Boshers and Cory Rasmus will likely reach eligibility next season for the same award as well. It'll be interesting to see how Hamilton and Pujols do next season in their respective returns from disappointing seasons; could there possibly be an eighth award joining the fray next season to honor a comeback player?
I would love to hear your suggestions for ways to improve the awards. Ideas for new awards? Maybe remove some of the ones already in place? Ways to improve the voting process? Any thoughts at all? Comment below; I'd love to hear what you think!