Tomahawk Chops: Justin Upton kicks off Braves career with a bang

Scott Cunningham

Upton did it all this past week. With him in Atlanta, the future couldn't be any brighter.

Justin Upton did it all in his first week as an Atlanta Brave.

League-leading five home runs? Check.

Game-winning homer just minutes after his brother tied the game in the ninth? Yep.

Post an OPS of 1.405? He did that, too.

On Monday, he'll probably be named the National League's Player of the Week.

Justin Upton is a superstar, and the Diamondbacks were too dumb to realize this for one reason or another. Probably because he never has fun on the field and doesn't like baseball.

Yes, a change of scenery likely did him some good. After watching him play for just one week, there's no denying just how good the 25-year-old outfielder is, and how good he could be moving forward. And he's going to be with the Braves for at least the next three years.

At the time of the trade, there was cause for skepticism. Some fans -- for reasons I'll never understand -- were borderline furious about the deal.

Upton was coming off a down year after being an MVP candidate in 2011. He cost the Braves a very valuable piece in Martin Prado, as well as a handful of other prospects. Prado was going to be missed (and continues to be missed) in Atlanta.

But here's the thing: a baseball team can find themselves another Prado a whole lot quicker than they can an Upton. Hell, it took the Braves like five years to find that ever-coveted power-hitting, right-handed corner outfielder they wanted so badly to balance their lineup.

Bill Baer said it best earlier this week:

With Upton in the mix, the future couldn't be any brighter. This is going to be a really fun year.

--

10 Degrees: Loudest hits of opening week come from Justin Upton, Michael Morse and Chris Davis - Yahoo! Sports
The Braves' big trade acquisition is making an unfair and unflattering reputation look silly.

Braves ride Hudson to series sweep of Cubs | www.ajc.com
It's still too early in the season to say just how good these Braves can be but they provided some clues during opening their home stand.

Upton brothers decompress after big night | braves.com: News
After B.J. Upton and Justin Upton hit ninth-inning home runs that provided the Braves a thrilling 6-5 win over the Cubs on Saturday night, they spent some time with their parents, who have been in Atlanta throughout the past week.

Strained oblique forces Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman to DL | braves.com: News
Freddie Freeman has been placed on the 15-day disabled list with a strained right oblique muscle.

Braves notes: Simmons day-to-day with thumb injury on... | www.ajc.com
This story is a couple days old, but Simmons is expected to return on Monday as the Braves play their first road game in Miami.

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