There are three types of team bloggers: 1) Pom-pom bloggers who never see fault in the team. These guys tend to piss off about one-third of the fan base; 2) Hater bloggers who only scream and yell. These guys piss off the other two-thirds of the fan base; 3) and then there are the realists, who just try to tell a story, whether it is good or bad. Those guys piss off everybody.
This is just a long-winded way of saying, “let’s talk about BJ Upton.” Dude had a hell of a weekend, no? And in the past week, we have seen Bartholomew Jedidiah Upton at his absolute worst (getting ejected and throwing a fit that will cost him two games) and his best (a walk-off home run versus the Blue Jays and 7-14 versus the Orioles with 8 RBI).
After 34 games, Upton is now on pace to hit .260 with 24 home runs and 105 RBI. That’s not a bad little statline. It actually compares favorably with his 2007 season when he hit .300 with 24 home runs and 82 RBI.
So let’s take a look at a couple of numbers that give us a better sense of exactly how well Upton is playing this year compared to previous seasons…
Weighted On Base Average (wOBA) is kinda like OPS, but better (.335 is average). and gives a nice all-around look at how well a batter is performing. Isolated Power (ISO) looks at a players raw power. It is simply Slugging Percentage minus Batting Average and is how many extra bases a player averages per at bat.
We see that Upton’s power is on par with 2010, and not far off of 2007. In other words, this suggests that Upton is 20-25 home run hitter. 2008 and 2009 now appear to be the exceptions, rather than the rule, as he battled shoulder injuries.
Upton’s wOBA is up this season to a very respectable .354. He is still well-off his 2007 season when his wOBA was .387. Yet, if he keeps this pace, he will have three seasons with a wOBA in the neighborhood of .350, with one season above that mark (2007) and one season well-below (2009). In other words, Upton is probably a .350 wOBA hitter.
In other words, Bossman is an above-average hitter with 20-25 home run power. He is not a superstar with the bat. But he is good. Couple that with his defense and speed and you’ve got a pretty decent player…that occasionally suffers brainfarts on the basepaths and in the field. And thank god he does that. If not, what would we complain about?