July 8, 2011 at 10:31 am by Ben Duronio under Atlanta Braves
The difficulties Dan Uggla has had at the plate in 2011 are well documented. The struggling all-offense second basemen has provided very little offense, aside from the occasional long ball. His performance so far has left a sour taste in most mouths, especially considering the fact that the offense as a whole has under-performed. However, things are starting to change.
On June 7, I wrote an article titled “Dan Uggla Needs To Strikeout More.” Since that date, he has hit for a .762 OPS with 30 strikeouts, 12 walks, and 12 extra base hits. His slash line of .213/.299/.468 is still poor, but there is production to be found in that line. His power has improved, as half of his 14 homers have come since June 8. He’s added five doubles as well, and the isoOBP of .086 is right in line with his carer mark of .085.
The important thing is that Uggla has gotten back to what made him the $62 million second basemen that he is. He is hitting home runs, walking, and striking out. At his best, he is a three true outcome guy. That’s what he is doing, and that’s at least a minor reason why the Braves’ are 19-8 over that span.
The walk rate since June 8 is 10.3% compared to 10.6% for his career. The strikeout rate is 25.9% compared to 25.7% for his career. The home run per plate appearance rate is 6% compared to 4.5% for his career. This is the Uggla the Braves’ were looking for, and if his BABIP during this stretch were to have been his career .291 rather than .226, this post would have been written a few weeks ago.
Using even more arbitrary endpoints, over the past four series Uggla is hitting .225/.354/.550. That’s all you can ask for out of your best power hitter. Uggla’s season ending numbers will be much worse than anticipated before the season began, but the offense may have landed the biggest acquisition in the league as Uggla reverts back to his career norms.