How Undervalued Is Upton
If you read my piece about potential landing spots for Justin Upton at FanGraphs yesterday, you might have seen a flurry of comments pertaining to Justin Upton not being worth….anything. Well, maybe it’s not that extreme, but when Braves fans poo poo the idea of adding him if it means downgrading from Andrelton Simmons to Didi Gregorius (who is WAY underrated as a baseball player), I’m forced to wonder if he’ll be under valued on draft day.
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Entering 2011, Jason Heyward was coming off of a 5-win rookie season and considered the toast of baseball before an injury plagued him throughout. At a time when I viewed Heyward as a future $50-$60 value player in Ottoneu, I added him for $29 with the opportunity to keep him for the long haul. He performed, and I’m sitting on a $31 Heyward who may be kept for years to come at a reasonable price. How quickly Braves fans forget Heyward was taking the same knocks 12-months ago as Upton is now.
Ironically, I acquired Justin Upton in the same league at the trade deadline because I was short on runs. He actually played really well for me and was a big part of my team surging to the title. At $56, there’s no way I’m keeping him. However, my piece on Upton has caused me to move him way up my draft board. He may even be the first name I throw out in the Experts League auction with the thought owners will be a little gun shy out of the gate. In terms of OPS which drives counting categories:
2010 – .849
2011 – .708
2012 – .814
2011 – .898
2012 – .785
2013 – .???
Entering 2012, Heyward’s value was still a bit juiced from his strong rookie season and the idea his the sophomore slump was just a fluke. This caused him to go for a few dollars more than he should have. I was still willing to pay, however.
Entering 2013, Upton is unwanted in Arizona, and was already flipped for half of what he would have commanded a year ago — Even though the deal fell through. Fantasy owners will read this and flinch. When momentum is going the wrong direction, it presents an opportunity for astute fantasy owners. Plus, I’m always on the look out for a great player whose value was depressed by nagging injuries. Upton fits this criteria as well. If there was ever a chance to add him in any format on the relative cheap, this is it.
24 Jan 2014 / Mike Newman /
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