Sunday, April 27, 2014

Upton Starting Strong Again

Just like last year, Upton's been tremendous in April (RantSports)
On this date last year, Justin Upton smoked his 12th home run of the young season off Detroit's Joaquin Benoit. Atlanta's newly acquired outfielder finished the day batting a ridiculous .302/.384/.779, well on his way to winning NL Player of the Month honors for April and asserting himself as the early season MVP favorite. It looked like he had finally put it all together and was about to deliver the superstar-caliber season that had long been expected of him.

Didn't happen. It would be another two weeks before Upton homered again, the beginning of a lengthy power outage that lasted most of the summer. From April 28th through the end of July, a span of 77 games that comprised nearly half the season, Upton homered four times. Four. He struck out 85 times and batted .243/.339/.342, looking almost as lost as his big brother B.J. Upton. Monster April aside, Upton was essentially the same player he was during his disappointing 2012 campaign, the one that caused Arizona to give up on him when he was just 25 and still under team control for three more years.

This year, Upton is off to another phenomenal start. After his 2-for-4 performance today, he's currently hitting .330/.406/.625 with seven home runs and 16 RBI. The strikeouts have been an issue again: he's already fanned 32 times in 24 games, which puts him ahead of last year's pace when he whiffed 161 times--a career high. That makes me think the two-time All-Star can't sustain his hot streak for much longer, that he'll cool off soon and go through a dry spell similar to the one he endured last year.

Will it last three months? Probably not, but until Upton--currently on pace for 216 K's--cuts down on his whiffs and becomes more consistent, he's never going to be a superstar.

No comments:

Post a Comment