28-Year-Old Outfielder – Free Agent
2015 Fantasy Baseball Outlook
Most owners didn't profit much from Upton's production in 2014, but they got their money's worth. He supplied 29 homers (.221 ISO), good enough for fourth in the NL, and drove in a career-high 101 run...
Justin Upton Contract Information:
Agreed to a six-year, $51.25 million contract with Arizona in March 2010.
Upton declined his qualifying offer from the Padres, Chris Cotillo of SB Nation reports.
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|Preseason||Subscribe now to see our 2015 projections for Justin Upton||3-Year Averages||151||636||559||92||151||54||28||2||24||79||11||4||66||151||0||6||5||.270||.349||.456||.805|
|Career (View All)||1184||4,932||4,329||694||1,175||459||234||35||190||616||115||44||509||1,185||3||41||50||.271||.352||.473||.825|
Justin Upton: MLB Games Played By Position
Justin Upton Split Stats (View Full Split Stats)
|Year||Age||Lg||Tm||PA||AB||Walk Rate||Strikeout Rate||BB/K Ratio||Contact Rate||BABIP||Isolated Power|
|Preseason||Subscribe now to see our 2015 projections for Justin Upton||3-Year Averages||636||559||10.4%||23.7%||0.44||73%||.331||.186|
2015 Stat Review for Justin Upton 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.
Justin Upton: Past News Updates ( ▲ View most recent update )
RotoWire's Preseason Outlooks
Upton's first month in a Braves uniform was the stuff of legends, as he clubbed a whopping 12 home runs in April and appeared to be headed for a career year. Over the next three months of the season, however, Upton managed just four home runs. He got hot again in August, and finished with a team-leading 27 big flies, but it was at times a frustrating season for his fantasy owners. After recording 18-plus steals in each of his previous four seasons, Upton attempted just nine steals in 2013, as manager Fredi Gonzalez played it safe on the basepaths, and his strikeout rate jumped dramatically from 19.3 percent to 25.0 percent. By no means was it a terrible year for Upton, but he didn't live up to his price tag, and his 17.9 percent HR/FB rate is likely unsustainable. Moreover, a rebound in batting average is not necessarily a lock, as his BABIP was still above .320.
When Upton injured his left thumb sliding into second base in April, most fantasy owners probably figured he would quickly recover from the seemingly minor ailment and promptly return to elite status. Instead, the injury seemed to bother him throughout the season, despite the fact that he was able play in 150 games. The .430 slugging percentage Upton delivered was the lowest of his four seasons in the big leagues, but he still managed to get on base at a good clip (.355) while picking up 18 steals. His numbers after the All-Star break (.817 OPS, 10 of his 17 homers) and more specifically, in September (.301/.354/.544 with six homers and four steals) suggest that he started to feel better as the season progressed. For the second straight offseason, trade rumors swirled around Upton, but he's still just 25 years old and the underlying skills here still suggest 30-homer and 20-steal potential with his return to health.
Upton put all of the pieces together and stayed healthy enough to play 159 games last season. The result was the breakout campaign many had tabbed Upton for following his age-21 season, as he delivered career-highs in every standard rotisserie category other than batting average. Further, Upton eased concerns about the shoulder injury that slowed him in 2010 with the heavy workload while showing considerable skills growth in the form of a 10 percent improvement in his contact rate (79 percent). Thanks to a fast-track path to the big leagues as a 19-year-old in 2007, Upton is now 24 with over 2,000 career at-bats. He slugged .561 after the All-Star break on the strength of 16 homers over 244 at-bats and if he's able to maintain that level of power over a full season, we could be looking at 40-plus homers in 2012.
Upton's health undoubtedly played a role in his regression last season, as he fell from 26 to 17 homers despite playing in just five fewer games than he did in 2009. New general manager Kevin Towers was willing to listen to trade offers for the young right fielder during the offseason, but nothing materialized. In addition to the lost power, Upton's contact rate dipped to 69 percent even though his walk rate improved to 11 percent. He opted for rehab during the offseason rather than surgery, so all signs point to 100 percent health at the start of spring training. Don't lose sight of the fact that Upton will still be just 23 when Opening Day rolls around in April, so there's still a great deal of growth potential even after he's racked up 1,517 career big league at-bats.
There were plenty of things that went wrong for the D-Backs in 2009, but Upton was one of the few bright spots last season as he produced at elite levels despite turning just 22 years old in August. After striking out in nearly one-third of his at-bats as a rookie, Upton significantly improved his contact rate from 66 to 74 percent while increasing his power output to swat 26 homers. Touted as a complete five-tool prospect upon being drafted first overall in 2005, Upton didn't disappoint, flashing good speed on the basepaths (20 steals) and checking in as one of the league's better defensive right fielders. He should only continue to get better, with the potential for more power and better overall production ahead if his selectivity at the plate continues to improve.
Considering that he spent most of his first full season in Arizona as a 20-year-old, we're willing to give Upton a pass for his inconsistent production. After an impressive start in April (.340/.385/.577, five homers and 15 RBI), Upton slumped badly before an oblique injury knocked him out of the lineup for most of July and August. Upton raked at Chase Field with a .321/.407/.632 line along with 12 homers and 32 RBI, but struggled tremendously on the road with a .169/.291/.271 line with three homers and 10 RBI. Overall, Upton demonstrated the ability to draw plenty of walks and get on base at a good clip (.353) despite struggling to make contact while adjusting to major league pitching. We'd also be surprised if he doesn't become more active on the basepaths in 2009, as he already boasts 20-steal speed and the D-Backs are expected to emphasize the running game. Don't be scared off by the disappointing overall numbers, as there's still a ton to like here as he continues to fulfill is potential.
Upton's teammate Orlando Hudson may have said it best when he nicknamed the 19-year-old phenom "The Franchise" and proceeded to say that Upton has 10 tools instead of the standard five. His numbers across High-A, Double-A and the majors last season are outstanding given his age, while the long-term upside here is simply: superstar. By all indications, he'll be the everyday right fielder and should be an immediate 20-20 threat, as a 20-year-old. Upton is an elite talent, so don't be shy about bidding the extra dollar or nabbing him a round early on draft day.
Upton is one of the 10 best prospects in the game, and already in the outfield, so he'll avoid some of the issues that have hampered his brother's development. He has superstar, Griffey-level talent, and if you're in a position to get him in keeper leagues, run, don't walk.
The Diamondbacks took Upton, a supremely talented five-tool player, with the first overall pick in the 2005 draft. Arizona will likely start Upton out at shortstop in a short-season league in 2006 before determining if he or Stephen Drew will change positions in the long term.