We all know BJ Upton is off to a bad start, but have you asked yourself lately, just how far of a hole has he dug himself this season? If you asked yourself that, then you are like me, and you will find this interesting because I did all the work figuring out just what the Boss-Man Junior will have to do to reverse course with his stats, and get them all purrdy again.
As it stands he has played in 41 if 45 games, or 91 percent of the Braves games. Last year he played in 146 of 162, or 90 percent of Tampa’s games. So far, he has stayed healthy enough to even possible out do his 2012 games played production. His current pace has him playing 148 games this year. For statistical purposes for the rest of this write up, we will assume everything just based on him playing 146 games, like last year.
Last year BJ had 573 at-bats. This year he has 144 which puts him on pace to get just 518 at-bats. Obviously his struggles have led to Fredi pushing him down in the order, sometimes to 7th, sometimes to 8th. If he continues to struggle, it will be unlikely that he gets the at-bats he will need to reach his mark last year. He is getting 3.5 AB this year, last year he averaged 4 per game, he will need to average 4.17 AB the rest of the way.
When you aren’t getting on base much, it’s tough to score runs, and that has been a problem for him. He has scored just 11 runs in 41 games or 1 run scored every 3.72 games played. Last year he scored 79 runs in 146 games or a run every 1.84 games. He is currently on pace to score just 40 runs. To even up his pace to get to last years stats, he will need to score a run every 1.54 games the rest of the way!
Driving in runs hasn’t been a something Upton has made a career out of, but by no means is he bad at it. In his career he drives in nearly 45 for every 100 games played. He has had a couple 80+ seasons, and last year he drove in a not-to-shabby 78. So he got a ribby every 1.88 games. This season he’s driven in an almost pitcher-like 6, yes, he is still in single digits. 3 times he has driven in himself, which means, he is driving someone home once every 6.83 games. He is on pace to drive in 22 runs. The lowest RBI total he every put up in a full year was 55. To get back to what he did last year he would have to knock in a guy every 1.46 games the rest of the way.
Upton had a career year with the long ball last year, so this is a little unfair since it’s tough for anybody to match their career best, but here it is anyways. He hit 28 homeruns last season. This year has hit 3. He is on pace to match his 2009 total of 11. He is hitting a home run once every 13.6 games, last year he hit one every 5.12 games. To get to 28 this year Upton is gonna have turn into Jose Canseco and smack one out every 4.2 games, which is about the pace you would have to have to hit 38ish out for a season for 3-quarters of a year and he has never displayed that type of power. Probably the safest to say he won’t get close to his last year total in this category.
Over the last 5 years BJ has averaged 39 steals a season. Last year was his worst year of the past 5, he stole 31 or 1 steal every 4.7 games played. Probably most surprising, is Upton has just 3 steals, in 6 chances this season or a successful steal every 13.66 games. He needs to steal a bag every 3.75 games (assuming he matches his 146 games played like last year) to tie his output from a season ago. A huge disparity from what he has done so far this season.
And finally, the batting average, oh the batting average. Upton is a career .251 hitter. He hasn’t hit .251+ in 4+ years, however, the average is mostly boosted from his two full years with the club in which he hit .300 and .273. Last year he hit .246, which is about what you would expect looking at his previous three years before that. What you didn’t expect was him to fall way below the Mario Mendoza line and hit .153, even if it was for a quarter of the year. He has 22 total hits this year. Last year in the month of May Upton has 26 hits. Assuming Upton got to his same total of 573 at-bats like last year he would need to collect 119 hits in his next 429 at-bats for the rest of the year. That is a batting average of .277 the rest of the way to get him back to .246.
Well, there you have it, that is the hole he dug and what he has to do in each category to match his Tampa numbers.
Extra: Just so you know, last season Upton’s best months for homeruns was September (12), RBI was August (22), Hits was August (28), Steals was May (10), August and September were his 2nd best months (6), so maybe he just loves those summer months!