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B.J. Upton is one of the fine young talents in the game today.
One is a pitcher who was never able to get his career going. The other is a young outfielder with loads of talent. Travis Harper and B.J. Upton currently share the mark of having spent the most amount of years with just the Tampa Bay (Devil) Rays.
Travis Harper was originally drafted by the New York Mets in 1994, but didn't sign. Then, he was drafted by the Boston Red Sox in 1997, but never played a single professional game for the Sox. In the middle of the '98 season, he latched on with the shiny new Tampa Bay Devil Rays.
The left-hander debuted with the Devil Rays in 2000, but became much of anything with the club. Over seven seasons, he appeared in 240 games (14 starts). He won 22 games and finished with a .494 ERA.
B.J. Upton, mean while, is currently in his seventh big league season with the Rays. The second overall draft pick in 2002 has given Rays fans much to cheer, and a little to scowl about. He's put up some solid numbers (.300/24/82/22 in 2006).
But he's also had some attitude problems, and has even been mentioned in possible trade rumors during his career. For now though, he remains in Tampa Bay. And at 26 years old, he could be headed into the peak years of his career. When all is said and done, he could be among the all-time Rays greats for many years to come.