It’s not that Justin Upton had a bad season last year.

After all, he hit .273 with 17 HRs and 18 SBs. Those are good numbers, but not exactly what fantasy owners were expecting when they selected him in the early rounds last year.

He saw a regression in average (-0.27), runs (-11), HRs (-9), RBIs (-17) and SBs (-2).

While the dip was bad news to his owners last year, it’s good news for those looking to employ his services this year.

Some could be nervous that the decline runs in the family, as his brother B.J. fell off after his solid 2007 campaign.

Some could be bitter that he didn’t meet expectations last year. Some could just think he played over his head in 2009. There is some uncertainty there, but with averages of 21.5 HRs and 19 SBs the past two seasons, he remains an excellent outfielder option.

Upton got off to a rough start, hitting .213 in April. He also finished poorly, hitting .250 from August on. However, from May through July, he gave us a glimpse of what he is capable of when he’s on, hitting .299 with 13 HRs and 42 RBIs.

I like him because low-end he gives you a 20-20 season with the possibility for much more. Plus, you don’t have to risk your team batting average. He’s just a .272 career hitter, a number that has improved with Upton hitting .287 the past two seasons.

I currently have him as my 15th ranked outfielder (click to see OF rankings), but he has the potential to put up top-10 numbers.


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