Another day, another major-league call up.
This time, the Atlanta Braves called up second baseman Tommy La Stella on Wednesday to replace the struggling Dan Uggla. Things already look promising for the 25-year-old rookie when he recorded his first multi-hit game on his debut, slapping a pair of singles off of John Lackey.
Uggla has been disappointing not only to fantasy owners (if anyone owned him) and Braves fans alike. He hit 22 home runs and 55 RBI last season while posting a .179 average. That trend looks like it will continue. As of May 30, Uggla has just two home runs and 10 RBI with a .177 average.
La Stella has shown great plate discipline down in the minors. In 1,196 plate appearances, he has drawn 136 walks and struck out just 102 times. There doesn’t seem to be any power with La Stella. His career-high home runs was nine back in 2011 with the Single-A Rome Braves. Then again, there doesn’t seem to be any power coming off of Uggla’s bat either, so it’s an even trade off.
Right now, manager Fredi González has La Stella batting towards the bottom of the lineup. With his strong on-base skills (.384 in 47 games in Triple-A), he could quickly become the Braves leadoff hitter. As for Uggla, this looks like the end for his career in Atlanta.
La Stella is owned in just 1.1 percent of ESPN.com leagues. I wouldn’t rush out to get him, but if you are in need of hits, average and on-base percentage, then La Stella should be the guy you target. The guaranteed playing time will make La Stella valuable in all league formats.