Monday, November 10, 2008

Is Dan Uggla A Keeper?

If you're in my fantasy baseball league, you know I sang Dan Uggla's praises before this season, and felt justified when he came out of the gates like a bat out of hell. Then of course, the second half happened, and he became much more of a question mark with regards to whether or not he's a keeper caliber player. Let's discuss.

Uggla has three years of major league experience, and he's averaged 105 R, 30 HR and 90 RBI. His career batting average of .262 is certainly a negative, but at second base, most players have some negatives. Brian Roberts' HR and RBI are very weak. B.J. Upton is a wild card at best when it comes to power numbers, and he's not proven on batting average by any stretch. And both of those guys are likely keepers, albeit lingering on the borderline.

And that's the thing. We're not talking about no-brainer keepers here. You don't need me to tell you that Chase Utley and Ian Kinsler are keepers. At least, you shouldn't need me to tell you that.

You do need me to tell you that Dan Uggla is a keeper, however, and that's exactly what he is. While you can't be all that happy with the likely sub-.275 batting average, the power and run production are great. It's taken a couple years, but I've really come to appreciate anybody who can get 90-90 consistently. A three-year minimum of 97 runs is fantastic. While the Marlins offense will always be in flux, Uggla's good eye and Popeye arms should keep him productive for years to come.

Projected stats: .270, 105 R, 30 HR, 95 RBI

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