Simon: Why Justin Upton is down, not up

From SABR member Mark Simon at on July 17, 2012:

Justin Upton figures to be the best hitter available on the trade market, if the Arizona Diamondbacks decide that he’s worth dealing. Upton turns 25 in August and is signed through the end of the 2015 season (the next three years pay him $38.5 million), so this would not be your typical July 31 rental deal.

But the question that some teams will have to consider is: Which Upton are you getting? The one from 2011? Or the one from 2012?

The Upton of 2011 was an MVP-caliber hitter, with a .289/.369/.529 triple-slash line, plus 31 home runs and 21 stolen bases. The Upton of 2012 has shriveled into an average offensive player, one with a .264/.347/.388 slash line and just seven home runs in 299 at-bats. He was 0-for-10 as the team scored three runs over the weekend while getting swept by the Cubs.

Upton has completely gotten away from what made him the hitter he was in 2011. He looks like a different player altogether. This has manifested itself in three areas.

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Originally published: July 17, 2012. Last Updated: July 17, 2012.