37-Year-Old Second Baseman – Free Agent
2017 Fantasy Baseball Outlook
There was no outlook written for Dan Uggla in 2017. Check out the latest news below for more on his current fantasy value.
Dan Uggla Contract Information:
Signed a minor league deal, which includes a spring training invite, with the Nats in December 2014.
Uggla went 1-for-1 with a solo home run in a pinch-hit appearance in a 2-0 win over the Mets on Saturday.
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Dan Uggla: MLB Games Played By Position
Dan Uggla Split Stats (View Full Split Stats)
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Dan Uggla Defensive Stats
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Dan Uggla: Past News Updates ( ▲ View most recent update )
RotoWire's Preseason Outlooks
There was no outlook written for Dan Uggla.
Uggla's career seemed to be over after his production bottomed out in 2014, but an offseason diagnosis of oculomotor dysfunction gave him some hope for a rebound, and the Nationals decided to give him a chance in spring training after he was declared free of the condition. An injury to Anthony Rendon opened up a roster spot for him, and he ended up sticking on the bench all season. He didn't exactly do much with the opportunity, mind you, but his plate discipline at least returned to its previous levels, even if his power stroke didn't. Uggla will turn 36 before the 2016 season begins, and the Nats have a number of young infielders looking for break into the majors, so there's no guarantee he'll be back in Washington even in a bench role next year. His improved vision bought him another year in uniform, but it may have just delayed the inevitable.
To say that Uggla's 2013 was a disaster would be an understatement, as he struck out 171 times in 448 at-bats and posted just a .671 OPS for the season. His .179 batting average was by far the lowest among qualified hitters, and LASIK surgery in August didn't help as Uggla hit just .133 after his return. Elliot Johnson eventually took his job as the starting second baseman, and Uggla, the team's highest-paid player, was left off the postseason roster. The Braves, unsurprisingly, want to unload Uggla, but the $26 million remaining on his contract will make that hard to do unless they want to eat a significant portion of the money. Regardless of whether or not he's traded, Uggla's days as an everyday player may be over, despite him being just two years removed from an All-Star selection.
After hitting 27 or more home runs through the first six seasons of his career, Uggla hit just 19 bombs in 2012 and had his second straight poor season. He has always been strikeout prone, but his strikeout rate jumped to nearly 26.7 percent in 2012. He was noticeably trying to pull the ball more and part of the result was a very high number of pop-ups. His HR/FB rate dropped to 11.4 percent. However, after two bad seasons, there is hope for him to turn it around. Uggla had a career-high 20.1 percent line drive rate. Further, his 14.9 percent walk rate was a career best. It is awfully strange that he seems to be moving in both the right and wrong directions at once, but a rebound – at least in the power department seems like a decent bet even if he's likely to hurt your batting average.
While Uggla's final numbers from his first season in Atlanta don't look much different than his previous five seasons in Florida, it masks one of the wildest swings in performance during a season in baseball history. Ugga was hitting just .173 on July 4 with 12 home runs and a .568 OPS. All his fantasy owners seemingly could hope for was that his struggles at that point were due to a very fluky .187 BABIP. Uggla then went 2-for-2 the next night and began a 33-game hitting streak. He hit .301/.386/.596 with 24 home runs in 75 games after July 4. Uggla has great power and draws walks at a good rate, but his batting average can be a risk since he strikes out too often. Still, there's some hope his battng average will improve as his second-half surge still left his overall season BABIP at a low .255. He's a good bet to hit 30 or more home runs for a sixth consecutive season as Atlanta's starting second baseman, but hopefully the ride won't be as stressful.
Uggla kept on keepin' on, racking up his fourth straight 30-plus HR season and his first 100-RBI effort. Contract talks with the Marlins went nowhere, though, and he was dealt to Atlanta in the offseason. While his home/road splits (.841/.833 career OPS) don't scream for a need to get out of south Florida, hitting in Turner Field shouldn't hurt him much.
Uggla collected his third straight 30-homer season, becoming the first second baseman in big league history to start his career with four straight 25-homer seasons, and while he hit a disappointing .243, he drew enough walks to be more than just a one-dimensional slugger. All that power comes with a price at the arbitration table though, and given that the Marlins have plenty of other in-house options to play next to Hanley Ramirez up the middle, Uggla stands a very good chance of beginning the season in another uniform, and perhaps at another position given his defensive reputation. His declining doubles total (from 49 in 2007 down to just 27 in 2009) is also a worrying sign that the power may not last much longer, which wouldn't be a shocking development for a late-blooming, not terribly athletic second baseman. The Marlins would likely get savaged in the press if they do trade him away, but in this case there's a real argument to be made that Uggla's value is peaking, and that the smart move would be to cash in now before his salary usurps his production.
For the third straight season Uggla improved both his home runs totals and his walk rate, a career arc that has put him among the top ranks of major league second basemen, even if he is only the second-best second sacker in the NL East whose last name begins with a 'U'. How much longer he remains in the NL East is a big question; the Marlins don't like shelling out big salaries when they have cheaper options available, and Uggla's headed for arbitration. For now though, he's still Hanley Ramirez's double-play partner, and part of the best offensive middle infield duo in the majors.
On the surface it looks like Uggla regressed at the plate in 2007, dropping a healthy chunk of his batting average, but a closer look shows an improvement in his walk rate and plenty more doubles to compensate for those fickle lost singles. He'll never win a Gold Glove at second base, and the Marlins' infield defensive issues last year have prompted some speculation that he could end up as Miguel Cabrera's replacement at third base, but Uggla's bat will play wherever they play him.
This isn't how the Rule 5 draft is supposed to work. Rule 5 picks are supposed to be the last guy on the bench, toolsy but raw players who you hope don't lose too much development time in their one season in the majors before you stash them back in Double-A. They aren't supposed to be players who show up in spring training already knowing how to hit big league pitching, aren't supposed to make All-Star teams right out of the blocks, aren't supposed to break 68-year-old major league records for most home runs by a rookie second baseman. Who does this Uggla character think he is, anyway? Those looking for a downside here will point to his September swoon (.221/.269/.361), but he was playing more than 135 games in a season for the first time in his pro career. Uggla will be 27 this season and won't get much better, but that's just nit-picking. In a 2006 Marlins offseason filled with moves that panned out better than expected, Uggla's acquisition might have been the best move of the bunch.
Uggla showed good power and an acceptable walk rate at Double-A last year while splitting time between second base and third. Then Florida took him in the Rule V draft. Frankly, he won't contribute much if he stays on the big league roster all year, but he's got keeper potential.