When Frank Wren acquired Dan Uggla in December, the Braves finally had that right-handed bat they had longed for for three years. His career numbers are incredible for a second baseman, and while his defense left something to be desired, he was widely known as a hard worker who would give it his all on a nightly basis.
Uggla has struggled in his first 36 games in Atlanta, but he's been known to be a slow starter. As of May 9th, here are his stats from the first six years of his career:
Career Average through May 9th: .244/.331/.455
Career Average: .261/.345/.483
Dan Uggla has struggled in 2011. There is no doubt about that. But as the numbers display, outside of a special year or two, Uggla isn't all that far away his career numbers. The season is still young and it's still at an early enough part of the year where a few big games can turn your season around (see McLouth, Nate and his doubleheader last week.)
If you need further convincing, his BABIP this season is .226. His career BABIP is .298. He's hitting the ball well. They just aren't falling...yet. When this evens out, watch out.
Uggla's best days are ahead of him. All he needs is a couple of strong weeks and he'll be right on par with what he's done offensively in the first five years of his career, which is pretty damn spectacular. When he starts hitting like the Dan Uggla of 2006-2010, our lineup has the potential to be explosive on a nightly basis. With our pitching staff, which, as a whole, might just be the best in baseball right now, the Braves will become an awfully scary team.