Friday, February 1, 2013
Will Justin Upton Be a Different Player in ATL?
First, let's take the fact he is switching positions from right to left field. With Jason Heyward firmly entrenched in right for the Braves, Upton will shift to the other side of the diamond. Do not take for granted this is a HUGE adjustment! The ball comes off the bat differently and learning a new position can be trying on any player. We have seen players change positions and struggle at the plate before, so if it happened here it would be no surprise.
Lastly, Justin will be playing alongside his brother B.J., who was also acquired this off season by the Braves. Sibling rivalries can be motivating, but can also be a distraction. Also, no one but their family knows what their relationship is like and spending everyday playing side by side might not be such a wonderful family reunion.
The good news is Upton is still very young and four years from his peak performance age (29). There is room to grow and he is at least on a team that wants him. Players with chips on their shoulders sometimes have career years. If you draft Upton in your fantasy league I would hope for 25 homers and 20 steals with a .280 AVG. Anything more than that would be icing on the cake. I would NOT draft Upton expecting a slam dunk career breakout year. There are a lot of adjustments he will be making and he is a better long term investment than for 2013 leagues.
For more on Justin Upton check out the NEW 2013 Fantasy Baseball Black Book available on Amazon for Kindle and iPad.