By Josh Kramer
The MLB season is truly a journey. Lots can happen in the six month regular season rollercoaster. It is no secret that outside of Adam Dunn, Dan Uggla, the big off-season acquisition for the Atlanta Braves, was completely tanking this year. Dan Uggla was truly having an “ugly” year.
What a difference a 33 game stretch can make in the public’s perception of a player. Uggla currently is in the midst of a 33-game hit streak. During the stretch, he has raised his batting average an astonishing 59 points. In addition, he is batting .457 in the month of August, as the Braves continue to expand their lead in the NL Wild Card race.
Just a month and a half ago, Dan Uggla, a guy who signed a contract in the off-season for five years and 62 million (over 12 million a year) was not even flirting with the Mendoza Line (.200). Uggla was batting an abysmal .173. Yes, .173. A guy making over 10 million dollars (makes 10 million this year, 13 million in the subsequent years) was batting 27 points under the Mendoza Line. Money well spent for Atlanta right?
You better believe they are happy with every cent of that expenditure now. Or are they? Well heading into our nation’s Independence Day (July 4th), Uggla’s line read .173/.241/.327. During the course of this thrilling streak, Uggla’s line reads .376/.434/.761. Sadly though, Uggla’s season numbers read .232/.299/.752. In addition, he is known as one of the worst fielding second basemen in the National League.
So yes, Dan Uggla is rolling and is just two more games away from tying the all-time hit streak record for 2nd basemen in MLB history (Chase Utley and Luis Castillo had 35 game hit streaks). In addition, Uggla has joined an exclusive club becoming just the 23rd player in MLB history to hit safely in 33 straight games. But all in all, Uggla has still had a pretty ugly year. Remember, Atlanta signed Uggla after a year in which he batted .287, had a OBP of .369, and an OPS of .877. Uggla’s career line is .259/.343/.826. And this line includes a couple of fairly average years in Florida.
One stat is key in all of this though. Atlanta is currently five games ahead in the NL Wild Card race with just 42 left to play. So as Uggla has weathered the storm of a horrific first half with a historic streak, the Braves have continued to win ball games.
Stay tuned for the next edition of TheSportsKraze.
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