The story of the 2013 season was full of Biogenesis scandal that included two league MVPs. Ryan Braun was one of the top-five fantasy players to start the season and Alex Rodriguez missed the first four months of the season after having hip surgery and played out the season while he appealed his 216-game suspension. An arbitrator's decision this offseason will determine if Rodriguez will play in 2014. The scandal also cost fantasy owners the services of Jhonny Peralta, Everth Cabrera, and Nelson Cruz. Hopefully, next season we will not have to discuss steroids and investigations and suspensions. In the midst of all the negative "stuff" we had this year, there were so many great performances and its time to hand out the 2013 BEONDECK AWARDS.
FANTASY MVP - PAUL GOLDSCHMIDT
Paul Goldschmidt isn't receiving nearly enough credit for his 2013 contributions, and since the Arizona Diamondbacks have missed the playoffs, it's likely he won't get enough credit for National League Most Valuable Player, so lets try to help fan that flame. Goldschmidt has the third-most homers (36), third-most RBIs (124) and fourth-best slugging percentage (.561) in baseball. Plus, what elevates Goldschmidt over other first basemen is his speed. Goldschmidt has 15 steals this season and he is the first player with at least 100 games played at the position to manage consecutive 15-steal campaigns. The obvious reason Goldy does not receive more attention is because Miguel Cabrera and Chris Davis have had incredible campaigns.
FANTASY PITCHER OF THE YEAR - JOSE FERNANDEZ
Jose Fernandez not only made the Miami Marlins rotation out of spring training, he also made the NL All-Star team. The Marlins shut him down after 172 2/3 innings and the numbers were outstanding: a 12-6 record, 2.19 ERA, and the lowest opponents' batting average of any starter in the majors (.182). Clayton Kershaw is the only pitcher with more value.
COMEBACK PLAYERS OF THE YEAR - MARLON BYRD & FRANCISCO LIRIANO
Marlon Byrd's career seemed all but over after he was suspended, traded, and released and hit .210 in 2012. However, the New York Mets gave him an opportunity and he earned the everyday job. He was traded to the playoff bound Pittsburgh Pirates and currently has a .284 batting average with 23 home runs with 84 RBI.
Francisco Liriano signed as a free agent with the Pittsburgh Pirates with very little fanfare after posting ERAs above 5.00 the last two years. This year he is 16-8 record with a 3.02 ERA.
WAIVER PICKUP OF THE YEAR - YASIEL PUIG
Fantasy owners can often win and lose a season on the waiver wire. Those owners that were lucky enough to get Yasiel Puig when he arrived in June received a huge offensive boost in every category. Through 98 games, Puig has a .324 batting average, 19 home runs, 42 RBI, 65 runs, and 11 stolen bases.
BEST TURNAROUND - UBALDO JIMENEZ
Ubaldo Jimenez was once thought to be one of the rising stars, but he has struggled with injuries and mechanics to the point that he was not on the radar of fantasy owners on draft day this year. During the first half of the season, Jimenez did nothing to catch our attention as he posted a 4.56 ERA. But, since the All-Star Break, Jimenez has the AL's lowest ERA at 1.77.
I want to thank all of you that make BEONDECK.com your home for fantasy baseball news. I appreciate the interaction I have with you on Twitter and on Buehler's Day Off. I am going to take some time off from the daily blog in October and will be back in November with MLB In Full Bloom when the Hot Stove gets heated up. My MLB In Full Bloom segment on Buehler's Day Off will be return in November as well and we will dive into all the offseason news!