St Louis Cardinals Fan Site

B.J. Upton: Over-Paid? Or Right on the Money?

B.J. Upton is certainly tough to get a hold on. When drafted, he was a sure thing; he was a can’t-miss prospect. He was ranked the second best prospect in baseball, and by age nineteen he had made it to the big leagues. He was a rising star in the making. Here we are nine years later, and no one can  legitimately say that he has become the megastar, so many had predicted previously. However, he has been a superb, consistent player that has earned his new 5-year $75 million-dollar contract that he has received from the Atlanta Braves.  Over the last four seasons, Upton has produced a WAR of about 4. He was easily the best player the Rays had, despite all of the negative critiques he received in Tampa Bay.

He is solid defensively, but certainly not  in the upper-echelon of most elite defenders; however, he was hardly an albatross either. He can hold his own. Offensively, there’s been a tendency to be more aggressive over the last several years; his walks and his pitch selection have equally gone down. Meanwhile, his fly-ball rate, his tendency to swing at pitches, and his power have all reason in the last four years. All the while, still not losing too much value. His value has only trended downward by a .5 a WAR. So, there’s still plenty of value left from the now 28-year-old Center fielder. Even after his 2012 season where he posted a sub-.300 OBP, in a hitter’s-suppressing park, in a hitters-suppressing league, he still managed a WAR of 3.3. And looking at all the other peripherals, there is little to no indication that he cannot be as good as he is now. Moving to a new team, in a new ballpark could, and probably will do wonders for him. All we have now is the time to see if their investment comes to fruition.

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