Thursday, March 4, 2010

The Uptons


Justin Upton was just rewarded by the D-Backs with $51 million over 6 years after his breakthrough season.  His breakthrough season was amazingly similar to his brother's in 2007, but the D-Backs probably don't want to dwell on that too much:

By age 22:  .300, 20 HR, 20 SB
Vada Pinson (1959): .316, 20 HR, 20 SB
Orlando Cepeda (1959): .317, 27 HR, 23 SB
Cesar Cedeno (1972): .320, 22 HR, 55 SB
Cesar Cedeno (1973): .320, 25 HR, 56 SB
A-Rod (1997): .300, 23 HR, 29 SB
A-Rod (1998): .310, 42 HR, 46 SB
B.J. Upton (2007): .300, 24 HR, 22 SB, .894 OPS
Justin Upton (2009): .300, 26 HR, 20 SB, .899 OPS

B.J. Upton: Post Breakthrough season
2008: .273 BA, .784 OPS, 9 HR, 44 SB
2009: .241 BA, 686 OPS, 11 HR, 55 SB

Of the 123 players with at least 550 PA in 2009, B.J. Upton had the 4th lowest OPS.  Even with the problems B.J. had with hustle, he looked primed for stardom after 2007, but it hasn't happened yet.  B.J. is still young and talented enough to get back on top, but there will probably be a lot of doubters if he doesn't do it soon. 

If he stays healthy, Justin probably will continue his path to becoming an elite player, but he needs to prove immediately that he deserves this contract and that he will not fall into the same problems as his brother.

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