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The pros and cons of B.J. Upton joining the Phillies


The first time many Phillies fans watched B.J. Upton was in the 2008 World Series as a member of the Tampa Bay Rays.B.J. Upton photo: flickriver.com

Now there’s a possibility they could be seeing a lot more of him.

Sources claim that the Phillies’ brass is actively pursuing the 28-year old centerfielder and have been in talks with his agent.

While the addition of a player like Upton would fulfill the Phillies centerfield needs for the next half decade, there are plusses and minuses in signing him. Here are some of our observations:

The pros:

-Despite a drastic drop in on base percentage in 2012 (.298), Upton did have his best offensive years in Tampa Bay with new Phillies hitting coach Steve Henderson. Considering Upton has had an OBP as high as .386 (in 2007), he would need to drastically improve in that department from last season.

-Upton is exceptional defensively and has an absolute cannon for an arm.

-Upton stole 31 bases last season and would fill the Phillies need for speed after trading Shane Victorino. This issue nearly doubles if Juan Pierre does not return in 2013.

-Upton offers a much-needed, legitimate right-handed power bat on a team of superstars with declining power.

The cons:

-On the flip side, the Phillies are a team in need of some average hitters who put the ball in play. Upton is only a career .255 hitter and hit just .246 last year.

-The Phillies really don’t need another strikeout artist to compliment Ryan Howard, and Upton racks up the strikeouts- whiffing 169 times in 2012 for an average of roughly 156 K a year throughout his six full seasons in the bigs.

-Upton has also been known to have caused some controversy in Tampa Bay on more than one occasion. At times, he has drawn the ire of Evan Longoria and manager Joe Maddon.  What will the Philly fans do when Upton fails to run hard after a ball in the outfield?  I don’t even wanna know....

What do you think?


Contact Joe Vallee at jvallee@philly2philly.com

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Article photo: flickriver.com