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B.J. Upton

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He has always struck me as a curious case. In his first full season he had an OPS of .894 (136 OPS+) and looked like a sure-fire superstar in the making, but since then he's posted OPS+ of 108, 82, 106, 115, and so far this year, 104, suggesting that he's little more than an average player.

What's his fatal flaw? How can he be so good for his first season only to become decidedly average for the rest of his career?

It's not a lack of patience thing: his career AVG-OBP split is a solid .84. He's about a 2.5-1 K:BB guy for his career, nothing alarming there. It's not a lack of natural ability, we know that. He's shown he has power. What's his problem? Is there a lack of desire there?

I guess guys like Upton fascinate me in general; can't miss prospects who showed they could do it throughout their MiL career and (often) into their early ML seasons, but for some reason settle down as decidedly average players. Delmon Young and Pedro Alvarez are other guys that broadly fit into this category, but with them the reasons seem clear: Young never developed the power everyone expected and without power and with a very low OBP he just hasn't hit enough. Pedro Alvarez still might be a really good player, but his problems seem weight and approach related.

What's Upton's excuse?

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