Rays Roster Rundown – BJ Upton

By Dustin Staggers

BJ Upton followed up his 2008 World Series with a truly awful season in 2009.  He began the year with high hopes and a leadoff spot, and at one point late in the season mired in an awful hitting slump, was moved to the bottom of the lineup.   He batted 9th for a total of 23 games to end the season, although, it didn’t improve his hitting whatsoever.

This is a player who has as much potential as anyone on our roster, but just can’t seem to put it together for long stretches of time. If he could put together stretches like his June run in 2009, he has MVP caliber talent.

When the rest of your splits look like the following though, you seem better suited for a utility spot.

BJ it still an important cog in the future success of the Rays, so I was kind of joking on the utility spot, but BJ needs to maintain some consistency in the 2010 campaign.

While he still doesn’t judge balls well off the bat, he has the speed to make any play in the OF. He makes so many impossible catches look routine, that the fact that he didn’t win a Gold Glove is almost laughable to me.

He also stole 42 bases in 2009, and has definite 50 base stealing potential. If he can cut down on his strikeouts, 152 in 2009, he has the potential to be potent.

Bill James projections for 2010.
G 142
AB 507
H 135
1B 89
2B 30
HR 13
R 81
RBI 59
BB 67
SO 136
SB 39
CS 15
AVG .266

James sees BJ hitting a little better in 2010 and reducing those awful strikeout numbers.