Bits: Is it time to give up on B.J. Upton? 

May, 7, 2013
5/07/13
10:53
AM ET
While many eyes in Monday's Atlanta Braves win over the Cincinnati Reds were on rookie catcher Evan Gattis making his debut in left field, the guy to his left handling center field continued to struggle and anger fantasy owners. B.J. Upton struck out in his first four at-bats and nearly made it 5-for-5 in the eighth inning, drawing a walk on a full count. While Upton's proclivity for swinging and missing is nothing new -- though never quite to this extent -- he still hits for power, steals bases and needs to remain owned in all fantasy leagues. If one of your league mates has had enough, well, you know what to do.

[+] EnlargeJustin Upton and B.J. Upton
AP Photo/David J. PhillipJustin Upton, left, is at No. 3 among all players on the ESPN Player Rater for 2013, while brother B.J. sits at No. 650.
We all know how much Upton is absolutely killing your fantasy team, because many of you keep tweeting and posting it in various places. But first of all, it's not true, and second, Upton's track record is too positive to send him to the waiver wire the first week of May so you can add the likes of Ryan Raburn, Matt Joyce and Garrett Jones. Those are a few of the most added outfielders in ESPN standard leagues, and while I understand the instant gratification aspect of fantasy, it's a six-month season and Upton wasn't a top-50 option in ESPN average live drafts by accident. Upton hit 28 home runs and stole 31 bases a year ago. In 2011, he hit 23 home runs and stole 36 bases. He's 28, in his prime.

In other words, we know what Upton can do, and while it's not quite what was expected from him when he was the second overall pick in the 2002 amateur draft, it's certainly not so bad that you would rather have Cleveland Indians veteran Raburn, who is on a crazy hot streak but has a dubious track record and is likely to lose playing time later this week when Michael Bourn returns from the disabled list.

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