Since 2006, second baseman Dan Uggla has hit 154 home runs.
The only person to hit more over that time is Albert Pujols.
Now, the Atlanta Braves are hoping for more of the same from the 30 year old right-handed hitter.
Uggla and the Braves agreed officially today on a five-year, $62 million extension, which will keep the second baseman through the rest of his prime years as a major leaguer.
This was a huge step for the Braves, as Uggla would have been eligible to become a free agent after this upcoming season. It was also important for the Braves to make a long term deal because Uggla brings something that Braves haven’t had much of in recent seasons: A power hitter from the right hand side and really a true power hitter period.
Uggla is coming off a season in which he won his first Silver Slugger award, having hit .287 with 33 homers and105 RBI. All three of those numbers were career highs, and it looks like he may be hitting a his stride heading into the 2011 season.
His average was 44 points high than it was the year before, so that could be expected to drop down to more of the .260-.275 range, but Uggla has hit at least 30 homers in all but one season in his short career, the exception being his rookie year, when he hit 27.
So, what can Braves fans expect from Uggla?
I’d say somewhere in the .270, 30-homer, 90- to 100-RBI range, which would be a welcome number from an offense that has lacked the big time power hitter since the departure of Andruw Jones.
Uggla is solid at second base defensively, but is one-of-a-kind from the plate at the position, giving him huge value.