Atlanta Braves

Dan Uggla: The Atlanta Braves Second Baseman Has Found His Swing

PHILADELPHIA, PA - JULY 08: Dan Uggla #26 of the Atlanta Braves strikes out during the game against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park on July 8, 2011 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Phillies won 3-2 in the bottom of the 10th inning. (Photo by Drew Hallowell/Getty Images)
Drew Hallowell/Getty Images
Will BrownContributor IJuly 22, 2011

Dan Uggla was in a slump like nothing he had ever experienced. He was consistently rolling over outside pitches or was popping up pitches that he would normally crush. He wasn't taking any pitches, and therefore no walks, but he also wasn't striking out much. So that's good, right?

After hitting .202 in the month of April, .160 in May, and .179 in June, Uggla has found his swing and has hit .267 so far in July. This has been even more profound during his 12-game hitting streak (which is tied for his longest of his career). During that stretch he is hitting .333 with five homers and nine RBI; not to mention that he has also drawn seven walks compared to 11 strikeouts.

During this hitting streak, his average has gone up from .178 to where it currently sits at .193.

Uggla is seven-for-23 since the All-Star break with a pair of homers and four RBI, making him one of the Braves' top offensive players since the break.

Is it enough to think that Uggla has really turned it around? I think so. Uggla never had many three or four-game hit streaks, let alone 12, before this one. He never really showed any adjustments until late July, but the adjustments have started to show on the field now. Uggla has moved closer to the plate and hasn't tried to pull every single pitch.

For a while, it seemed like Uggla was trying to make up for all of his struggles with one swing of the bat, but now he seems much more relaxed at the plate and it is making the Braves a better team.

One thing that Uggla has done well all year is not complain or get down on himself. He's played almost every day and has taken his lumps on double plays this year. He's also been a pleasant surprise defensively at second base, though he'll never have anyone mistake him for a defensive wizard.

Uggla has also been shown as a great teammate and has the full support of the entire organization. They knew that this had to come at some point or another and I'm sure they are very pleased at what they have been seeing the past few weeks.

I predict that Uggla will hit somewhere in the .260 range for the second half and will hit around 15 dingers for the second half. That would put his average somewhere in the .230 range with 30-plus homers, not too bad considering where we were sitting with him just a few weeks ago.

 

Uggla is currently day-to-day with a calf injury.

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