Atlanta Braves' Justin Upton Needs To Be Even Better In 2014

By Steven Whitaker
Justin Upton
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For the Atlanta Braves, 2013 was supposed to be a spectacular season. Justin Upton and his brother B.J. Upton were coming into town as two prospective All-Star caliber players. Everyone knows what happened to B.J., however, Justin became a huge part of the Braves’ offense as the season began.

With six home runs and eight runs batted in through the fist seven games of the 2013 season, the sky was the limit for Upton. As it goes in the course of a baseball season, he cooled off of his hot hitting. What was troubling about the cooling off though, is that it last a long time. He only hit three home runs from May 17 to July 31. During that time period, his batting average dipped down to .239 at one point and struck out more than twice in a game 18 times.

Upton ended the 2013 season much better than the middle of his year was. He ended up hitting 27 home runs and bringing his average up to .263. Doing so, Upton ended the 2013 season as one of the main components of the Braves’ lineup.

However, in 2014, those stats aren’t going to be good enough to get the team into the playoffs. He will need to be the .280 hitter that he was with the Arizona Diamondbacks, and hit close to 30 home runs again. The team won’t be able to sustain the success of the 2013 season if Upton goes two and a half months hitting only three home runs and hitting a huge slump.

If he can continue to work hard, it won’t be hard to be better than his big brother, but he needs to be even better in 2014.

Steven Whitaker is an Atlanta Braves writer for Follow him on Twitter @CoachStevenWhit, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your cicrles on Google.

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