Players can slump when arriving at a new team with a new park to deal with especially when the player changes leagues. Look at Albert Pujols. He struggled in his first season with the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. It happens. But what stands out to me are three things when it comes to B.J. Upton's struggles on the offensive side of the game (Stolen Bases/OBP, Strikeouts and Batting Average). Here are his stats at the end of play on Sunday May 12th:
I would also say that his free swinging has led to a ridiculous amount of strikeouts. As it is Upton already has 47 strikeouts. At this rate (to be conservative) Upton is on pace to strikeout 180-200 times which would be a career worse. His worse season in terms of strikeouts was last season at 169 K's. His batting average reflects his seemingly reckless approach to hitting. He is batting an Adam Dunn-like .153 with only 19 hits in 124 at-bats. He has four doubles and three homers with 0 triples. I would have thought that playing in a somewhat open stadium like Turner Field that Upton would be driving more balls into the gaps and utilizing his speed in an advantageous manner generating singles into doubles and doubles into triples.
Maybe B.J. would benefit from a move down into the lineup as Braves Manager Fredi Gonzalez did the other day with Upton batting 7th. Maybe a bit of a relief from the pressure would help Upton out. Whether it does or not still remains to be seen.
- Click Here for B.J. Upton's career statistics from Baseball Reference.com