Fantasy Baseball Bounce Back Player Alert: Justin Upton

Brian HoltContributor IFebruary 18, 2011

PHOENIX - AUGUST 04:  Justin Upton #24 of the Arizona Diamondbacks hits a RBI single against the Washington Nationals during the first inning of the Major League Baseball game at Chase Field on August 4, 2010 in Phoenix, Arizona.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Justin Upton is coming off a year in which he took a considerable step backwards. Through his first 3 seasons in the big leagues, he had consistently improved his statistics as his playing time increased:

 

YearGamesRHRRBIAVGOBPSLGBABIP
20074317211.221.283.364.287
2008108521542.250.353.463.332
2009138842686.300.366.532.360

 

As you can see, this shows us a player who is steadily improving at the Major League level. Considering he was only 21-year-of-age in the 2009 season, he had earned his way onto many keeper lists in 5×5 leagues already with his best years still ahead.

In 2010 however, Upton wasn’t the player his fantasy owners anticipated.

 

YearGamesRHRRBIAVGOBPSLGBABIP
2010133731769.273.356.442.354

 

Definitely not the stats any owner was looking for from a keeper or high round draft selection.

One positive that stands out is that Upton was able to improve upon his selectivity at the plate, garnering 64 free passes, his highest season total to date.

Additionally, his speed was still obvious in swiping 18 bases.

While tough to factor in, we must consider the fact that Upton was dealing with a nagging shoulder injury the majority of the season.

Coming into this season healthy and with another year of experience under his belt, I expect he will perform this year on par with his previous trajectory.

While he may struggle for Run and RBI opportunities in that Arizona lineup, overall I think his owners will be very happy with his performance and find him deserving of a top 10 OF selection.

 

2011 Fantasy Forecast: 85 R, 28 HR, 90 RBI, 20 SB, .300 Avg