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Tuesday, September 11, 2012
Upton: Between Two Worlds.
Through August 10 of this season, Upton owned a .676 OPS. The free-agent-to-be wasn’t doing anything to boost his value, and then on August 11, Upton hit two home runs. Upton hit three home runs yesterday, on September 10. FanGraphs leaderboards have a very handy “Last 30 Days” option in the pull-down menu for splits, and the last 30 days capture both August 11 and September 10. Upton has been streaking. Over the last 30 days, Upton has posted the fourth-highest wRC+ in baseball, at 193. He’s right in between Adrian Beltre and Miguel Cabrera, and that tends to be good company as offensive statistics are concerned. Yet at the same time, over the last 30 days, Upton has posted the very lowest contact rate in baseball, at 57 percent. The next-lowest belongs to Chris Carter, at 63 percent. Upton’s hottest stretch at the plate by one statistic coincides with his coldest stretch at the plate by another. Not that contact rate is even close to being as important as wRC+, but this is weird. Upton has hit the crap out of the ball. At the same time he’s posted a lower contact rate than Aroldis Chapman has allowed.
...Right now, what’s important isn’t B.J. Upton’s free agency. Upton and the Rays are trying to get to the playoffs, and lately Upton has done a lot more helping than hurting. Over 28 games over those last 30 days, he’s hit 11 home runs and also stolen eight bases for good measure. But what matters for Upton’s free agency is also what matters right now. And that’s the question of: how good is B.J. Upton going to be? He’s a tricky one to pin down. Some numbers suggest that right now he’s locked in, and some numbers suggest the very opposite. Some numbers suggest that Upton is beginning to really tap into his abundant potential, and some numbers suggest that he’s going to get exposed once pitchers figure out what he’s doing.
Posted: September 11, 2012 at 06:06 AM | 4 comment(s)
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