Today Justin Upton was traded to the Atlanta Braves (along with Chris Johnson) for a handful of minor league players.
Upton is one of the top players in baseball age 25 or younger. Since he first played for the Arizona Diamondbacks at the age of 19 it is almost hard to believe Upton is still only 25 and doesn’t turn 26 until late August this year**. The kid has ridiculous power, a canon for an arm and great awareness in right field. In a little over five years of baseball he has 108 home runs and 80 stolen bases and shows that he isn’t a single tool player, he has all five. Upton was a serious MVP candidate in 2011 at the age of 23 and will just continue to get better. He had a bad hand early last season and it impacted his entire year but expect him to return to form in 2013. In Atlanta. Thankfully.
**Speaking of young players that feel older: I can’t believe Felix Hernandez will only be 27 in 2013. If age 27 is when a player hits their prime then what will this guy do in 2013?!
The fewer times Upton comes to bat against the Rockies the better. In his career he is a .278/.357/.475 hitter. He has sort of had an up and down career but I got to think he is a player who slugs over .500 more times than not over the next three seasons (the time remaining on his contract, which was club friendly, that the Diamondbacks traded away).
Here are his stats against the Rockies and at Coors Field:
vs the Rockies
Those are horribly small sample sizes when looking at each season individually but if the Rockies can not face a guy for about 60 plate appearances a year who slugs .524 against them with a career .375 on-base percentage? Thank you very much, Mr. Wren and Mr. Towers.