September 28, 2011; Atlanta, GA, USA; Atlanta Braves second baseman Dan Uggla (26) hits a two run home run against the Philadelphia Phillies during the third inning at Turner Field. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-US PRESSWIRE

2012 Player Projections: Dan Uggla

September 28, 2011; Atlanta, GA, USA; Atlanta Braves second baseman Dan Uggla (26) hits a two run home run against the Philadelphia Phillies during the third inning at Turner Field. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-US PRESSWIRE

2011 was an unlucky year for Dan Uggla, and unlucky is the word that pretty much sums up his entire season. After the final (tragic) game of the year Uggla was sitting pretty with a .233/.311/.453 slash line caused mostly by a career low .253 BABIP.

Uggla has been an off one year on the next type guy for most of his career but his numbers have always been good. He has never been a liability in the lineup like he was at the beginning of 2011.

If you want to know why Uggla’s first half was so rough you can find out with these next few bullets:

the rest after the break…

  • March/April- .195 BABIP, .194 AVG
  • May- .187 BABIP, .160 AVG
  • June- .185 BABIP, .179 AVG

This is why I love batting average on balls in play. It always makes sense. It’s probably my favorite advanced stat, as it gives you reasons for players doing horrible, reasons for below average players doing well, and helps you predict future performance as well.

Here is the second half of the season just so you can see the difference:

  • July- .328 BABIP, .293
  • August- .377 BABIP, .340
  • September- .281, .238

Throughout the entire year Uggla kept his batted ball numbers right near his career norms, but upon closer inspection we find that his LD% was below his average during the first four months and his GB% was slightly higher. This combined with the extremely low BABIP resulted in horrific numbers. The rates went back to the usual during the latter part of the season.

One of the only things that was consistent with Uggla last year was his FB%, which didn’t suffer a decline during the first part of the season unlike a lot of his other numbers. This helped him set a new season high in homeruns (36) and also keep his slugging percentage at a reasonable rate, albeit still below his usual mark.

Let’s get on to the projections now that I have analyzed last year a bit more than you would like.

AVG OBP SLG HR RBI R BABIP
2011 .233 .311 .453 36 82 88 .253
Bill James .251 .337 .473 33 92 95 .288
Roto Champ .254 .340 .473 33 101 92 .290

Both Bill James and Roto Champ are predicting an improved line from last year, which is pretty obvious. There isn’t a huge difference in the two although Roto Champ is a bit higher on AVG/OBP/RBI/BABIP.

I am going to say that Uggla’s BABIP follows his roller coaster style career so far and hits .300. Since 2006 here are Uggla’s BABIP marks:

  • .309
  • .279
  • .320
  • .274
  • .330
  • .253

It looks like he is due for a .300+ BABIP right? Well its no guarantee but it is a pretty safe bet to say Uggla will have at least 30 homers, a slightly below average batting average, decent OBP, and good power numbers. It would be nice to see him cut down on the K’s but at this point its really not going to happen.

Some people have brought up the fact that Dan Uggla is getting older. He is going to be 32 for the most part of 2012 so I feel pretty confident in him keeping his numbers up. 32 is past his ‘prime’ but its not exactly old.

Defensively Uggla is below average. He doesn’t have great range and he will make some pretty rough throws but he is definitely good at turning the double play, and with his power the defense is perfectly fine.

 

I would expect a better overall season from Dan Uggla next season excluding the HR category. Uggla is one of the more consistent players in the game and we should expect something close to his career norms. It’s also nice to see that Uggla has never played in less than 146 games in his career, which is something people tend to overlook.

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