Hannah Foslien/Getty Images
A completely lost Josh Hamilton.
People were ready to wave the white flag when the Atlanta Braves signed B.J. Upton to a five-year, $72.5 million contract in the offseason. Even though the Braves are en route to possessing the best record in the National League, little credit goes to Upton for that.
Upton’s once-dynamic skill set has evaporated in Atlanta, as he's posted a .188 batting average, park-adjusted 54 OPS+, nine home runs and 12 stolen bases over 428 plate appearances. In fact, the 29-year-old’s 2013 season has been so bad that the team considered sending the former star to the minors to work out his issues.
As big of a dud as Upton has been, no outfielder (free agent or not) has been as big of a disappointment as Josh Hamilton. Despite being an MVP Award-caliber hitter since 2010 (and winning the award in 2010 too), Hamilton has looked completely lost at the plate in 2013.
The slugger has posted a .245 batting average, park-adjusted 106 OPS+ and just 21 home runs over 600 plate appearances. Needless to say, the Los Angeles Angels expected a heck of a lot more production when they signed Hamilton to a mammoth five-year, $123 million contract.
The Angels were certainly expecting to compete in 2013 when they signed Hamilton to bolster their offense, but another Los Angeles team will be representing the city in the playoffs this season. The Los Angeles Dodgers officially clinched a playoff spot on Thursday, Sept. 19.
While the Dodgers inked a variety of free agents to bolster their 2013 playoff chances, the team rightfully assumed stud outfielder Matt Kemp would continue his MVP Award-caliber ways. Kemp, who posted a combined .315 batting average and park-adjusted 162 OPS+ from 2011 to 2012, has been a shell of his former self in 2013, however.
In between a plethora of ailments and injuries, the 28-year-old has been a nonfactor for the surging team. Kemp has posted a .274 batting average, 104 OPS+ and just five home runs over 260 plate appearances. If not for the terrific play of prospect Yasiel Puig, it’s quite possible the Dodgers would still be fighting the Arizona Diamondbacks for a playoff spot.