B.J. Upton is oozing with talent. Literally, it drips off of him like a sweaty, sweaty man huffing up some stairs. But the numbers have simply not matched his level of talent. He has been accused of dogging it, of lacking drive, of overall lack of effort. What is evident to the watchful fan is this: he’s simply not improving/adjusting. He still gets bamboozled on a good slider. He still strikes out too much. His OBP isn’t up to snuff. For a guy who stole 44, 42, and 42 bases the last three years it’s kind of remarkable his OBP hasn’t cracked .330 in the past two. Oh, and the batting aveerage. Upton’s average has dropped every year since 2007 and bottomed out at .237 last year… not impressive. And what of that immense power he showed in the playoffs? I know I was expecting a 30 homer season from him at this point but that has not come to fruition. Being an AL East guy, I see Upton a lot and let me tell you, I am not overly excited about his 2011 outlook.
Bill James’ projection is equally tepid. 16 homers, 87 runs. A .255 average. 63 RBI and a .345 OBP. And 40 steals. With the exception of those 40 steals, does he sound like an appealing player to you, as an OF? Maybe as a fill-in MI but OF is stacked! Are you going to use a top 100 pick on him? That’s how far he’s fallen. His ADP is 73 over at mockdraftcentral, but there are guys after him I would much rather have on my team (Billy Butler? Pedro Alvarez? Nick Markakis?). Are the names in parentheses not more likely to improve on their past seasons? Of course they are, because for B.J. Upton, it’s time to put up or shut up, and I think he’s stubborn. He’ll never reach his full potential and will merely disappoint you. You can get steals cheap, don’t waste a pick on a guy who doesn’t care. I’ll take the hard-nosed Markakis, the upside of Alvarez, or the sweet swing of Billy Butts any day. And to think, this post started with the idea of hyping him for 2011.