FanShot

How to get what we expected from Dan Uggla

Dan Uggla is currently hitting .180/.247/.339 after Saturday's showing. Obviously this isn't what the Braves had in mind when they traded for Uggla and then signed him to a very nice deal. However, one has to wonder what it would take to get him to the level we expected? Uggla's career line was .263/.349/.488 with Florida, averaging 31 home runs, 100 runs, and 93 RBI per season with an average 73/152 bb/k rate. At his current pace, Uggla would finish with 23 home runs, 69 runs, and 56 RBI, which would still place him in the top class offensively among second basemen in those categories, but not what he's getting paid $9M for this season and $13M per in the future to produce. He's on pace for a 52/141 bb/k ratio as well. His strikeout rate is actually similar to last season's improvement, and even at current pace of 141 would be his fourth straight season decreasing his strikeout total while playing nearly every game along the way in those seasons. So, down to the nitty gritty. What would Uggla have to hit to get to his career averages? to his career best 2010? last, for a fun question, to a .300/.400/.550 season? The first question requires knowing that Uggla has played 78 games so far this season and come to the plate 317 times, an average of 4.064 times per game. He has averaged 155 games played each season of his career, so his high game total is nothing to be surprised by. While you cannot predict an injury, to base these predictions, we'll assume 155 games, which would give him 630 plate appearances at his current pace (which would be a 3 year low for Uggla). Just over half of those plate appearances have already happened, which will leave us at just under half a season to project out. To reach his career average coming into 2011 (.263/.349/.473), Uggla would need to go .357/.454/.610 from here on out with 20 home runs, 67 runs, and 66 RBI, with a 48/84 bb/k rate. To reach his career best numbers (.287/.369/.514, 33/113/105 with 92/123), Uggla would have to hit .407/.492/.693 with 22 homers, 80 runs, 78 RBI, and a 67/58 bb/k rate. To reach .300/.400/.550 would be a whole new level of production: .434/.556/.767. Now, how feasible is any of this, well, here are Dan's best MONTHS by each slash stat: AVG - .356 5/06, .347 5/08, .319 8/10 OBP - .427 8/09, .425 5/08, .402 5/06 SLG - .827 5/08, .706 6/06, .614 5/07 In other words, the production just to get career averages is something he's only sustained for one MONTH at best, so expecting such a rate for 3+ months would be out of line, but if he pulled off his career averages at this point, he would have to be high in the ranking of NL MVP.

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