Justin Upton on the Move
Justin Upton will be wearing a new uniform this upcoming season. Word was announced yesterday that the Arizona Diamondbacks traded their top talent to the Atlanta Braves in a blockbuster 7-player deal. Here is the specifics:
- Randall Delgado- RHP
- Martin Prado- INF
- Nick Ahmed- SS (prospect)
- Brandon Drury- 3B (prospect)
- Zeke Spruill- RHP (prospect)
- Justin Upton- OF
- Chris Johnson- 3B
This is an excellent move for the Braves. The team is now on course to rival the Washington Nationals in the NL East, which now makes this division one of the most exciting in the MLB. This trade will bolster the outfield of the Braves, who just recently went out and signed Justin’s older brother, B.J. Upton. The two Upton brothers now pair with Jason Heyward to create one of the fastest, most exciting, and arguably the most skilled outfield in the league.
But let’s not just talk about defense. The Braves receive an excellent hitter in Justin Upton as well. In the past two seasons, Upton has been in the top 8 in the league in total runs scored. A boggling stat considering a nagging thumb injury that bothered him this past season. What is even more impressive is his blend of speed and power, a rare combination in the league today. In the 2010-11 season, he ranked 7th in the league with an even 25 Power-Speed #(the combination of home runs and stolen bases). In 2011-12, he narrowly missed the top 10, mostly due again to that nagging thumb injury. Yet, according to Upton, he is fully healthy coming in to this season, and with a solid team around him, expect him to put up big offensive numbers.
Out of this deal, the Diamondbacks come out of it relatively unscathed. Of course, no team can replace a star player like Justin Upton. They receive one of the Brave’s top pitching prospects in Randall Delgado, and a former all-star and solid hitter in Martin Prado. Not to mention, the team no longer has to deal with a disgruntled Upton in their clubhouse. With that distraction out of the way, and a wealth of young pitching talent, the Diamondbacks are primed to turn some heads this season. Don’t expect them in the World Series, or even the playoffs for that matter, but now they have some young pieces to build around. Right now, the NL West is dominated by the San Francisco Giants and L.A. Dodgers, but expect the Diamondbacks to be competitive next season.