September 26, 2012; Atlanta, GA, USA; Atlanta Braves second baseman Dan Uggla (26) in the dugout during the game against the Miami Marlins at Turner Field. Mandatory Credit: Daniel Shirey-USA TODAY Sports

Dan Uggla: 2013 Projections Atlanta Braves


 

In the winter months before the 2011 season began, the Atlanta Braves made a trade with the Florida Marlins giving up Omar Infante and relief pitcher Michael Dunn for power hitter Dan Uggla.  He has had a strange road to stardom, he was drafted by the Arizona Diamondbacks in the 11th round of the 2001 MLB draft and had spent five seasons trying to make his way through the organization.  After never getting above the AA level the Diamondback left him off the roster in 2005 and was picked up by the Marlins in the Rule 5 draft.  Then, the Marlins decided to give the 5’11” second baseman a shot.

Atlanta Braves second baseman Dan Uggla (right) hits a solo home run during the fifth inning in front of San Diego Padres catcher John Baker (center) and homeplate umpire Vic Carapazza (85) at Petco Park. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

Before coming to Atlanta, during the five years spent in Florida he hit 154 home runs while containing a batting average of .263.  In Florida, he hit over 30 home runs in every season except his rookie year (27).  Then throughout his first season with the Braves in 2011, he hit 36 home runs making it five consecutive years of hitting over 30 a year.  But with the batting average slipping each year with the Braves so far, the skeptics have been all over him.

Now going into his 33-year-old season, Uggla is probably in a make or break season to stay in Atlanta.  Every offseason prior to this one, Uggla has worked on getting stronger and building muscles.  It seems as though he has taking strides during this offseason to become a more all-around ball player by eating right and working out with his teammates during the break.  After his worst season of his career, he lost 20 pounds since last spring training.

Even though at the other end of his prime year ages and coming off a horrific year, I believe Uggla will have a bounce back season for the Braves.  I project him to hit around 25-30 home runs and getting his batting average up closer to his career mark (.253).  I’m still hoping that he can realize pitchers know he’s going for the fences and that he should try to fix his swing to go to right field.  If he becomes a more complete hitter by hurting the defense going to all fields, Uggla will again be a threat to pitchers.

 

Dan Uggla

Year Age G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BA OBP
2011 31 161 600 88 140 22 1 36 82 .233 .311
2012 32 154 523 86 115 29 0 19 78 .220 .348
2013 33 156 488 89 121 25 0 26 81 .248 .353

 

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  • fireboss

    Uggla is what he is, when he’s on he hits 260 or so and drives a lot of balls into the gaps and gets a couple of dozen doubles, 75+ singles and 30 homers. His issue last year was his IFFB rate, prior to becoming a Brave it was 8% but in 2011 it went to 11.9 and last year it was 16.9%. That coupled with a lower 7% or so GB% rate and a 6% hr.FB rate drop would indicate either bad pitch recognition or a significant timing issue. Since his zone recognition was good based on his high walk rate and z swing rates it’s timing. He thinks so too judging by his interviews and a change in off season training that reduced bulk and weight. If he cuts out the popups the HR rate will also return and he will be the 30/80 guy Wren thought he was getting. I like Uggla as a teammate even with his occasional defensive faux pas but relying on him as THE RH bat was a mistake. They need to trade him this winter unless Bud sneaks the universal DH through next off season heaven forbid