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Following a career year, Diamondbacks outfielder Justin Upton has been a disappointment for owners who drafted him with a top 10 pick in 2012. I examine if he bounces back next season.
If you asked me prior to the season which
But as the season winds down, it’s Rays outfielder B.J. Upton, not Justin, who’s been the better
While both players offer a rare combination of speed and power, it’s Justin who’s widely been considered the
With less than two weeks to go, Justin is batting .277/.354/.426 with 15 home runs, 100 runs, 62 RBI and 16 stolen bases. Justin may or may not find himself on the Diamondbacks next season – as his name was dabbled in trade talks at the deadline – so debating his value in 2013 is made even harder, but I’ll try.
What’s not to like about Justin Upton? He can do it all. He can give you solid average, solid power, solid run production and solid numbers in the steals department. He’s a complete player and one that was drafted as such with great confidence.
Courtesy of Baseball Reference, here are Upton's career stats.
|162 Game Avg.||162||671||590||97||163||33||6||24||80||18||68||155||.277||.357||.475||.832|
While he has a shot to match or top his 105 runs scored from a year ago, Upton's production has dipped in each category. But let’s face it: if you’re an
Whether it’s an injury that’s slowing him down or it’s simply just a down year,
Looking at his HR/FB%, his current 10.6% is the lowest of his career and it’s below the league average of 11.2%. In 2009, his HR/FB% reached a career high of 18.8% before dropping to 12.4% in 2010. But what really stood out to me was looking through his career ground ball and fly ball rates:
Year: GB%, FB%, number of home runs
2008: 37.2%, 41.9%, 15
2009: 45.5%, 35.7%, 26
2010: 41.4%, 39.4%, 17
2011: 36.9%, 44.8%, 31
2012: 43.8%, 35.0%, 15
As you can see, there’s not much rhyme or reason to the number of home runs and his ground ball and fly ball rates.
When I look at
I think it’s time we start thinking of Justin Upton as an above-average fantasy outfielder, but not one of the elite. Until he puts together back to back great seasons, that’s how I’m going to approach it.