About To Get Uggla

When the Atlanta Braves acquired and signed second baseman Dan Uggla in the offseason to a lucrative $62 million contract over 5 years, Uggla was projected to have one of his best seasons yet in his six-year career. He was even projected by ESPN’s Buster Olney to hit 40 home runs in 2011. Uggla has been underwhelming so far, but it finally looks like he may be finding his groove with his new team.

The 32-year-old slugger is hitting only .205 with 18 home runs and 41RBI’s in 104 games this season. Let’s just say that Uggla’s batting average has been, well, Uggla so far. While he is statistically on pace for one of his worst seasons offensively, there is reason to believe his play will improve.

A player as talented as Dan Uggla is just too good to go an entire season hitting around .200 He has been more of a power hitter in the past than a hitter for average and his .256 career average clearly shows he is going through a bit of a slump in 2011.

Looking at Uggla’s numbers by month, his production was way down in May and June where he hit only .160 and .179, but his power numbers have remained reasonably consistent each month of the season. In July, Uggla is hitting more like he was expected to, batting .301 with 6 home runs and 13 RBI’s. He has also been much more consistent, a statement proved true by his current 18-game hit streak.

[caption id="attachment_241" align="aligncenter" width="340" caption="Braves Second Baseman Dan Uggla (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)"][/caption]

Dan Uggla looks like he is starting to turn his season around. While his statistics have improved, he also looks like he is playing more confidently and working longer counts against opposing pitchers. Although he was in jeopardy of missing some games (and subsequently losing his hit streak) with a sore calf, he seems to be out of the woods and is playing everyday.

Every player goes through their ups and downs and some are longer than others. Uggla is breaking out of his slump and playing like the second baseman Atlanta signed this offseason. It is also better that he is heating up right when the Braves need him most, the second half. A championship can’t be won in the first half of a season, but it can be lost. And if Dan Uggla keeps regaining his confidence, he can help make that dream a reality.

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