On January 5, 2011, the Braves gave Dan Uggla a 5 year, $62 million dollar contract.
On June 17, 2011, 71 games into the season, the early return on that heavy investment from the Braves was a .172/.240/.317 line from Uggla. Even myself as a Mariners fan had heard comments from other Seattle fans regarding "At least we don't owe Chone Figgins what the Braves owe Dan Uggla."
When you're being used as an example to make a fanbase feel better about Chone Figgins, that's bad. That's really bad.
Uggla came into the season as sort of a "He is what he is" type of batter and many people disagreed with giving him that much money to begin with, even though he was an excellent source of power from the second base position. In 5 seasons with Florida he hit .263/.349/.488 and averaged 31 HR and 93 RBI. From an "average" standpoint, that would seem to make him an elite second baseman. But Uggla's inconsistency was what kept him from reaching that next level.
More after the jump...
In even numbered years he hit .276 and in the odd numbered years he hit .244. From a fantasy standpoint, that made Uggla untouchable for some owners, as they didn't know which Uggla they were going to get, or they were already burned by him before. But the fact that he was moving to Atlanta may have given owners hope that he'd reach that next level. Until recently, it didn't even seem like a sure thing that he would keep his job (of course, there were 62 million reasons to keep him in there until he figured it out.)
He may finally be figuring it out.
Since the low point in his season on June 17th, Uggla has been on a tear. On the 18th, he went 2-for-5 with 2 doubles in a loss to Texas. He's kept it going and in his last 38 games he is hitting .285/.356/.604, 13 HR, 30 RBI, 28 R. If you bought low on Uggla, you are reaping the rewards of one of the games top performers over the last month.
A deeper look into the numbers show that Uggla's BABIP was a part of the problem. It stood at .195 in April, .187 in May, and .185 in June. Rather than regress up, it just got progressively worse. Then in July it shot up to .328 and his overall BABIP has crept up to .222. Still far away from his career average of .292, but it's becoming more and more reasonable.
While his overall line of .212/.282/.419 is still pretty ugly, some of his overall numbers are actually just fine, his 21.7% K rate is the lowest of his career, and his .207 ISO is just a tick below what you'd expect.
Overall, Uggla's line could settle around the .250/.320/.460 range with 32 HR and 85 RBI. Which is exactly what you might expect in an odd-numbered Uggla year.
Uggla leads 2nd baseman in home runs with 22, but is hitting .212. Is he top 5 at the position?
Yes (43 votes)
No (40 votes)
Not now, but by the end of the season (41 votes)
124 total votes