This was the worst LA Angels season of all-time. One of the harder things to watch was Justin Upton.
Before the LA Angels season even started, Justin Upton was injured in the preseason. Turf toe (freaking turf toe), kept him sidelined until June, when he finally made his 2019 season debut.
Upon his return, Upton struggled in the outfield. That’s nothing new for Upton, but what was unforeseen was the difficulty he had at the plate as the season went on. Just watching the games, Upton’s frustrations soon became more and more obvious. He just couldn’t seem to get it right at the plate.
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Then, as the season was winding down, it seemed as if Upton was starting to find his stroke. Unfortunately, his season was ended early due to injury. It was sad to see Upton shut down just as he was starting to show fans that he still had the skill that the team is paying him for, but with the Angels out of the race, it was the obvious choice.
So now, Angels fans everywhere are calling for Upton to be traded. Maybe that is the right this to do, but it is very unlikely to happen. The Angels have a lot of money committed to Upton, and they still plan to contend in 2020. And outfield of Upton, Trout, and top prospect Jo Adell is still the dream for the Angels.
And it’s their best option.
If you’re reading this and sit in the anti-Upton camp, I want you to let down your bias for a minute. Justin Upton is a four-time All Star. He has shown throughout his career he has exceptional power and while he’ll never hit .300, he has all the potential to slug .525 with 40 home runs next season for the Angels.
We crowned Kole Calhoun this year for hitting .231. In his injury-riddled season, Upton hit .215 in limited action. Even at his worst, Upton was nearly as good as Calhoun was at the plate. Sure, Calhoun’s defense is obviously superior to Upton, but in terms of hitting, Upton is the right option.
Justin Upton has a lot of baseball left in him. Once he’s fully healthy next season, Justin Upton is going to go out and prove that to the Angels, their fans, and the entire MLB.