While most of the attention directed towards second basemen is deservedly paid to Chase Utley, another NL East player of the same position, who also happens to have a five-lettered last name beginning with “U” has been posting some pretty solid numbers of his own. Clearly, the title of this post indicates I am speaking about Dan Uggla, who has helped the Marlins to a 23-14 record; believe it or not… that is the highest winning percentage in baseball. Yes, folks, the Marlins, as of right now, are “the best team in baseball.”
Uggla has posted some pretty drastic splits in his numbers this year but let’s first examine everything on the whole:
2006: .282/.339/.480, 112 OPS+, 27 HR, 33 2B-3B, 154 GP
2007: .245/.326/.479, 108 OPS+, 31 HR, 52 2B-3B, 159 GP
2008: .279/.359/.618, 155 OPS+, 11 HR, 12 2B-3B, 36 GP
Taking batting average out of the equation, Uggla essentially performed the same last year as in his rookie season. Many thought he fell into the sophomore slump due to his .245 BA and big jump in strikeouts (123 to 167), but his OBP, SLG, OPS, OPS+, HR and RBI all remained relatively similar. Additionally, his BABIP was a tad lucky in 2006 whereas it was right on par last year. This year, however, everything has jumped and were he to keep pace, he would finish the season with close to 50 home runs. This is not very likely to happen, though, so instead of focusing on what he could do this year, let’s look at what is contributing to these numbers, starting with his splits vs. pitchers:
vs. RHP: .307/.383/.733, 11 HR, 24 RBI (115 PA)
vs. LHP: .200/.293/.286, 0 HR, 3 RBI (41 PA)
Here are his home/road splits:
Home: .213/.306/.533, .839 OPS, 6 HR, 12 RBI (85 PA)
Away: .361/.423/.721, 1.142 OPS, 5 HR, 15 RBI (71 PA)
And here are splits between April and May:
April: 26 GP, .255/.330/.471, .801 OPS, .306 BABIP, 4 HR, 12 RBI
May: 10 GP, .353/.439/1.059, 1.498 OPS, .313 BABIP, 7 HR, 15 RBI
He has homered in seven of his ten games this month and has an absolutely ridiculous SLG and OPS. Additionally, looking at his career splits, May has always been his best month. In May, over the last three years, he has an OPS of 1.026; next closest is June’s .903.
To sum everything up, this year Uggla likes facing righties and hitting on the road, and in his career, REALLY likes this month.