He Can Only Go Up(ton) From Here....

Shawn CaswellCorrespondent IApril 11, 2010

ST. PETERSBURG, FL - APRIL 06:  Outfielder B.J. Upton #2 of the Tampa Bay Rays catches a fly ball against the Baltimore Orioles during the home opener game at Tropicana Field on April 6, 2010 in St. Petersburg, Florida.  (Photo by J. Meric/Getty Images)
J. Meric/Getty Images

Tampa skipper Joe Maddon tried B.J. Upton as the leadoff hitter last year and it just flat out did not work out. Upton had a down year in every offensive category except stolen bases. He had a BA twenty points lower than in '08 and considerably less RBI, Runs and Hits. Maddon moved him back down in the order to start the 2010 campaign. After a decent spring training effort, Upton has not carried it over into the regular season. Its only the first week, so Im not overly concerened, however so far he has been cold at the dish. He has started off 4 for 20 (.200 BA), has one RBI, 2 runs score and 2 stolen bases. He is however making great plays in CF like always.

He is making it easy for critics, like myself, to ask some tough questions. Is it possible that Upton is declining as a hitter this early in his career? Is he who we thought he was? What made him so successful in 2007 that he isnt doing now?

Truth be told, I am only concerned because he's on my fantasy squad, plus I am a die-hard Phils' fan. If I were a Rays fan, I wouldn't be concerned for real. The Rays obviously could do worse than Upton, look at the Nats' OF....what a joke.

Hopefully he can put it all together in 2010. He's a much better ball-player than he has been showing us. I have confidence that he will bouce back and look more like the player from 2007.