30-Year-Old Outfielder – Atlanta Braves
2015 Fantasy Baseball Outlook
To say Upton's second season in Atlanta was an improvement on his first, while true, would be to underscore just how awful he was in 2013. Although he was able to manage 12 homers and 20 steals, Upton...
Melvin Upton Jr. Contract Information:
Agreed to a five-year, $75.25 million deal with the Braves in November of 2012.
Upton (foot) is expected to be out until at least May 1, Mark Bowman of MLB.com reports.
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|2015 RotoWire Projections||Subscribe now to see our 2015 projections for Melvin Upton Jr.|
|Career (View All)||1233||5,088||4,478||636||1,090||399||235||25||139||508||264||81||531||1,344||19||38||22||.243||.324||.400||.724|
|Sep. 28||@Phi||Did not play.|
|Sep. 25||Pit||Did not play.|
|Sep. 23||Pit||Did not play.|
|Sep. 14||@Tex||Did not play.|
|Sep. 13||@Tex||Did not play.|
|Sep. 9||@Was||Did not play.|
|Sep. 7||@Mia||Did not play.|
|Sep. 1||Phi||Did not play.|
|Aug. 29||Mia||Did not play.|
|Aug. 28||@NYM||Did not play.|
|Last 7 Days||12||2||3||1||0||1||1||4||5||1||0||0||0||0||.250||.438||.583||1.021|
|Last 14 Days||31||2||7||1||0||1||1||5||8||1||0||0||0||0||.226||.333||.355||.688|
|Last 30 Days||60||5||14||1||0||3||4||9||17||1||0||0||0||0||.233||.333||.400||.733|
Melvin Upton Jr.: MLB Games Played By Position
Melvin Upton Jr. Split Stats (View Full Split Stats)
|Year||Age||Lg||Tm||PA||AB||Walk Rate||Strikeout Rate||BB/K Ratio||Contact Rate||BABIP||Isolated Power|
|2015 RotoWire Projections||Subscribe now to see our 2015 projections for Melvin Upton Jr.|
2014 Stat Review for Melvin Upton Jr. As compared to the top 200 hitters in 2014 (min 400 PA)
Good contact skills often lead to better fantasy stats.
SLG and ISO are useful indicators of power.
Patience at the plate often leads to positive outcomes.
A couple of useful stats for evaluating a hitter.
2015 Projected Stats Breakdown for Melvin Upton Jr.
2015 projections compared to top 200 hitters in 2014 (min 400 PA)
2015 projections compared to top 100 outfielders in 2014 (min 325 PA)
Atlanta Braves Roster
MajorsAlmonte, Zoilo (OF)
AAABanuelos, Manny (P)
AABenson, Joe (OF)
A+Beckwith, William (1B)
ABriceno, Jose (C)
RookieAlbies, Ozhaino (SS)
Melvin Upton Jr.: Past News Updates ( ▲ View most recent update )
RotoWire's Preseason Outlooks
In Year 1 of a five-year, $75.25 million pact with Atlanta, Upton experienced an unfathomable fall from grace. He got off to a terrible start, posting a .145 average over the first two months of the season, and never rebounded, ultimately losing his everyday job and finishing with a .557 OPS, nearly 200 points below where it was in 2012 (.752). Upton struck out 151 times in 391 at-bats, with 49 of those coming in just 114 second-half trips to the dish. One season removed from hitting 28 homers and swiping 31 bags, Upton was one of the biggest fantasy busts in recent memory, and he will have to fight for playing time this spring, though the Braves surely aren't ready to completely give up on him with four years remaining on his contract.
Upton continued to produce in 2012 much as he has throughout his career and signed as a free agent with the Braves in the offseason for five years and $75.25 million. He hit .246/.298/.454 with a career-high 28 home runs and added 78 RBI. His on-base percentage was actually the lowest of his career as he only took 45 walks and struck out 169 times, his highest career total. He is consistent in his ways as a low batting average player with solid power and above average speed (31 stolen bases in 2012). His power really came on strong in the second half as 21 of his home runs were hit after the All-Star break. He will continue to be a strong defender in center field and has the flexibility to hit anywhere in the batting order, but the Braves see him hitting in the middle of the order. If he can improve his patience at the plate he could be undervalued on draft day given his strength in power and speed and with the help of a higher batting average.
Upton put together a very similar season to 2010 in 2011, suggesting further that he is what he is: a low batting average player who will hit around 20 home runs and steal around 40 bases. His batting average improved six points, his OBP eight points and his slugging percentage by five, closely resembling 2010. Figure those numbers in with a similar strikeout and walk rates and you have a player who has not declined but also has not developed as expected. While the small sample size caveat applies here, Upton did hit five home runs, steal nine bases and have a 23:17 K:BB ratio in 87 at-bats while hitting out of the second spot in the lineup. He remains one of the better fielders in the game and will likely remain a player whose name is constantly mired in trade rumors since the Rays have another center field option in Desmond Jennings. Depending on who the Rays sign or trade for, expect Upton to bat around sixth in the order and patrol center field on Opening Day.
Every year since 2007, fantasy owners have drafted Upton while waiting for him to break out with a .290 average and place in the 30-30 club. Reality is probably starting to set in as Upton can always be counted on for steals but the high batting average and power combo doesn't seem to be coming. Last year's home-run total was seven more than his 2009 total, which isn't surprising now that he's more than a year removed from shoulder surgery. To take the next step, Upton will have to improve his batting eye to cut down on the strikeouts (69.4 contact rate last season). He did hit 10 home runs while batting .260 over 192 at-bats during August and September - a possible sign of good things to come. Draft Upton for his speed and moderate power, just temper any lofty expectations in the batting average department.
Upton started the season on the DL as a result of offseason shoulder surgery and battled quad and ankle injuries during the season. Once he got back on the field, he failed to live up to lofty expectations. He struck out 152 times in 560 at-bats and his .313 OBP got him dropped from the leadoff spot to seventh in the batting order. Upton lost power as the season went on (seven home runs before the All-Star break, four after). However, better days should be ahead for Upton. He still managed to swipe 42 bags (third in the AL) and a career-low .312 BABIP suggests an improvement in batting average is on the horizon. His defense is outstanding, his 11.0 UZR was second to only Franklin Gutierrez for center fielders. Given his youth (25) he should be in line for a bounce-back season, but it remains to be seen if his power will return. Draft him for his speed and temper your power expectations.
Upton underwent surgery in November to repair a torn labrum in his shoulder; the injury had nagged him all season and played a huge role in the drop in Upton's power numbers from 2007 levels. While he won't quite be ready for game action when camp opens, Upton is expected to be fully healthy and available by Opening Day. Upton's monster postseason line (.288/.333/.652, seven home runs in 16 games) indicates he'll be just fine in 2009 once his shoulder recovers; bid based on Upton's 2007 numbers, not 2008, to insure you don't miss out.
Upton started the year as the everyday second baseman, moved to center field when Rocco Baldelli got hurt and finished the year entrenched as Tampa Bay's center fielder for the foreseeable future. Although Upton drew quite a few walks last year, the Rays will work with him to cut down his strikeouts; with his speed, the Rays want Upton to put the ball in play as often as possible. Upton played 48 games at second base before being moved to center, so he should be middle-infield eligible in many leagues in 2008, likely for the last time.
The bloom has come off Upton's rose just a tiny bit, and really not of his own doing. The old Devil Rays regime kept Upton in the minors behind Julio Lugo too long and he regressed a bit at Triple-A last year. In addition, his defense still hasn't really improved at shortstop over the past few seasons, and he was downright awful with the glove at third base for the Rays. If he's not traded in the offseason, the Rays may move Upton to the outfield in 2007, provided a vacancy develops there. There's still tons to like about Upton, such as great speed and plate discipline and good power if he stays in the infield, but his 2007 fantasy value likely won't be clear until the team decides where he plays and how often.
Upton's bat is clearly big-league ready; the question is whether Upton's glove is ready for prime time, especially at shortstop, where he made 53 errors at Triple-A last year. The new Devil Rays regime backtracked from comments made late last season by outgoing GM Chuck LaMar to the effect that Upton would be moved to third base this year. Instead, they told Upton during the winter that he'd get every chance to win the big-league shortstop job, although they'd prefer to call him up after the season starts. So expect Upton to get some serious big-league playing time this year; the only questions are whether he's up on Opening Day or in June and at what position.
The second overall pick in the 2002 draft could win a starting job this spring. Upton could play short if Julio Lugo is traded or if Lugo is moved to second if the Rays don't sign a veteran to start over Jorge Cantu. Lugo could also play short and Upton third. Or Upton could move to left field with Carl Crawford in center since Rocco Baldelli is hurt. He could DH, too. Or he could start in Triple-A to polish his defense. Either way, if you kicked yourself back in '96 for not drafting then unknown Derek Jeter, take Upton now.
Upton enjoyed a great pro baseball debut in 2003. That month of Double-A is very impressive, considering Upton turned all of nineteen during that stint. He'll start 2004 back in Double-A and move up as quickly as his skills let him. He'll likely be competing for the major league shortstop job in the spring of 2005, and could make his MLB debut this September. There is nothing not to like about this prospect.
The Devil Rays' No. 1 draft choice (and No. 2 overall) in the 2002 draft. Due to protracted negotiations, he never got to play pro ball last year, so he'll make his pro debut in 2003, probably in Low-A ball. The Rays envision him becoming their regular shortstop by 2005 and the next Derek Jeter by 2007 or so. Obviously, with credentials like that, he's a keeper league candidate, but Upton so far is potential untouched by actual pro performance, so check to see how handles the minors in 2003.