Today's player profile is on one of the big new additions to the NL and that is BJ Upton. Upton signed a 5 year 75 million dollar deal with the Braves in the off-season. Recently the Braves acquired his brother Justin so the Upton boys hope to be playing together in Atlanta for years to come. One would think that would have a positive effect on both of them. But let's break down BJ Upton.
Background - BJ Upton is now 28 and in the prime of his career, he spent 6 plus season with the Tampa Rays. He was highly touted as BJ Upton was the 2nd overall pick of the 2002 draft.
First Full Season:
BJ Upton's first full season it looked like he was destined for stardom both in real life and in fantasy baseball. Upton's stats in 2007 were 24HR, 82R, 86RBI, 22SB, .300Avg. Looked like the sky was the limit and BJ Upton would be a 5 category player for years to come.
Last 5 Seasons:
However that did not happen as we look as BJ Upton's stats from 2008 through last season:
08 - 9HR, 67RBI, 85R, 44SB, .273 Avg
09 - 11HR, 55RBI, 79R, 42SB, .241 Avg
10 - 18HR, 62RBI, 89R, 42SB, .237 Avg
11 - 23HR, 81RBI, 82R, 36SB, .243 Avg
12 - 28HR, 78RBI, 79R, 31SB, .246 Avg
Now the last 4 years BJ Upton has hit between .237 and .246. That is a major drag on one's team average. The fact that Upton has struck out between 152 and 169 times last 4 years has a lot to do with Upton's poor average. Also as Upton has gone from his early 20's to his late 20's his stolen bases have come down as well. On the plus side the last 2 seasons Upton has been a 20HR/20SB man each season. Like I stated in the By the Numbers Article there were only 7 such players in the NL last season.
On the plus side BJ Upton will have so much of a better offensive team around him in Atlanta compared to what the Tampa Rays have had the last 2 years. However given the Braves offense they will not need BJ Upton to steal as much as he has had to in Tampa the last 2 years and he is getting older so I would expect his stolen bases to be in the low to mid 20's at best. Also BJ Upton just signed a very big contract and he would not be the first player to get off to a rough start to try and justify that new 75 Million Dollar contract. Also BJ Upton is going from the AL to the NL so it's a new league with for the most part seeing new pitchers on a day in and day out basis. As you can see I have listed a number of red flags for BJ Upton for 2013 but I don't want it to seem like he will be a dud in 2013. I expect Upton to be a 20/20 man again in 2013 but with a poor average and most likely with start the season very slowly. My guess in most NL leagues BJ Upton will go a premium due to his power and speed combo and not enough people pay attention to average. If that's the case pass on BJ Upton and go after someone else.
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NL King - C.Lizza