He’s never been a good average hitter, ever. He’s known for his absolute monster home runs. Oh, and his very large arms for any baseball player, much less a second baseman. Over the past few seasons, he’s been known as a waste of money and a bust.
Atlanta Braves second baseman Dan Uggla is far from those last two characteristics. Just flip on the TV and watch the man play. In his three seasons with the team, there are few times that you will see him not give 110 percent out on the field. With every ball in play, he busts his tail down the line and runs through the bag. Now, is that alone worth the $13 million that the team is paying him? No way.
His struggles at the plate have left fans of the team with a bad taste in their mouth (and probably higher level management). His inability to hit over .220 for the past two seasons makes that $13 million seem a little steep of a price. Also, his defense is among some of the worst in the league. Put that all together, people aren’t wanting to pay $13 million for a .200 hitter that plays bad defense.
Now, is Uggla that bad of a player? Not really. Will he hit .280 like he did in 2010? Never again. However, he can hit .240 to .250 if he is seeing the ball like reports say that he is this spring. With that extra average, his 22 home runs could jump back up to 28-32 in 2014, which would mean a huge increase to the offense of the Braves.
When it comes down to it, Uggla is a bad second baseman defensively. In 2014, that won’t change, but he will be better at the plate. A lot better, actually. He’s hitting a lot closer to .250 this season, if not hitting that mark and he will definitely hit above 25 home runs. By doing so, Uggla will clearly be the biggest surprise of the 2014 season and more importantly, make the people in the front office quite happy.