When the LA Angels traded for Justin Upton late in the 2017 season the thought was that Upton was going to be the missing piece that could push the Angels over the top and back into the playoffs.
In 2018 Justin Upton struggled mightily at times and thus the LA Angels suffered another abymyssal season where they finished in fourth place 10 games away from earning a wild-card spot. There were many reasons for this disappointing result in a season that started with so much hope and promise and Upton’s subpar performance being one of them.
In 2017 Upton hit 35 homers drove in 109 runs and batted .273. Upton’s home run and RBI totals were both career highs, and his batting average was his best mark since 2012. In 2018 though Upton dropped to .257 with 30 home runs and 85 RBIs. He also struck out 176 times and left 282 men on base throughout the season which was almost two per game.
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The Angels as a team were near the bottom of the league in both batting average (.242, 20th) and runs scored the Angels ranked 15th (721). It was not just Upton’s fault for sure as Albert Pujols and Kole Calhoun both had terrible seasons as a whole as did anyone playing catcher for the Angels. In addition Zack Cozart and Ian Kinsler who were both brought in to add some punch to the Angels line-up combined for 18 homers 50 RBIs and a .229 batting average.
Cozart is back this season and hopefully he will produce more like his 2017 season as well where he hit .297 with 24 homers and 63 RBIs compared to .219 with 5 homers and 18 RBIs. However Upton will be counted on to hit and produce in the third and fourth spot in the line-up.
If Upton, Trout, and Shohei Ohtani can all hit 30 home runs and drive in 100 runs that will go a long way in helping to improve the Angels offense in 2019. Upton will also have to improve his defense which was very suspect in 2018 as well.
If Upton does improve it will go a long way in helping the Angels offense be more solid in 2019 which should help them win a few more games. Justin Upton it’s time to earn your money!!! S