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Key Stats: In a sport and position where consistency is hard to find, Daniel Cooley Uggla (what a name, huh?) has provided this for his entire career. Last year’s numbers (159 G, 100 R, 33 HR, 105 RBI, 4 SB, .287 BA, .877 OPS) were pretty much all in line with his career numbers. His line drive rate, fly ball to HR ratio and strikeout to walk ratio were close to his career averages. Uggla’s career lows in major fantasy categories were 84 R (13 less than his next career low), 27 HR, 88 RBI, .243 BA, 2 SB, .805 OPS. Year to year, you can expect him to play almost every game (he’s never been on the DL).

On another note, Uggla is going to be playing 81 games at Turner Field this year. His career line there? In 45 games, he’s hit for 37 R, 12 HR, 36 RBI, .354 BA and a 1.051 OPS. Yikes.

Skeptics Say: Before 2010, Uggla’s offense greatly resembled Adam Dunn’s – lots of power and walks (leading to a high OBP), but also a lot of strikeouts. Since after his surprise rookie season, Uggla has averaged 34 homers and 82 walks, but also 166 punchouts a season. His 149 K’s in 2010 were his lowest in that period (by 1), combining with a .287 batting average to give Uggla perhaps his best year overall. However, that was 24 points higher than his career average and in the three seasons preceding 2010, Dan batted .249, which is something I think he’ll revert closer to.

Peer Comparison: When you’re talking about second basemen, obviously Utley and Robbie Cano are on an island by themselves. The next tier down though, would be Dan Uggla and Dustin Pedroia. Pedey’s season (and my fantasy season) was scrapped in June with a broken foot. Even though Terry Francona was quoted last week as saying Pedroia is still experiencing discomfort in his foot from surgery in August, I still am drafting Pedroia before Uggla. Before his injury last year, #15 was still on pace to equaling, if not surpassing his totals from his 2008 MVP season. While Uggla provides premium power, the 2011 crop of second basemen features quite a few guys that could hit for 25 homers (Kinsler, Brandon Phillips, Cano, Utley, Zobrist, Weeks). Pedroia is going to contribute in all 5 categories, and destroy Uggla in 3 of them.

Team Outlook: Uggla split time last year batting between 2nd and 5th in Fredi Gonzalez’s order. Though he’ll still be playing for Gonzalez in Atlanta, most depth charts have Uggla slotted into the 4 spot in the order, batting behind Chipper Jones and before Brian McCann and Alex Gonzalez. I’m expecting Chipper to miss at least a third, if not half of the season, so I actually see Uggla hitting in the 3-hole for most of 2011, behind Jason Heyward and Martin Prado. With Jason Heyward in his sophomore year and Freddie Freeman in his rookie season, this isn’t a dynamic lineup. But it certainly isn’t any better or worse than hitting with Mike Stanton, Hanley Ramirez, Gaby Sanchez and Chris Coghlan as his peripheral batters.

What They’re Saying: Yahoo: #5 Second Baseman & #34 Overall; CBS Sportsline: #5 Second Baseman; Tristan Cockcroft of ESPN.com: #35 Overall; John Halpin of Fox Sports: #36 Overall; Couch Managers: #29 Overall; RotoChamp: #22 Overall

Projection: Despite a lot of uncertainty in the lineup, Uggla has thrived in Turner Field. While I don’t expect him to hit for a 1.051 OPS the whole year, I think the move to a better ballpark will help his already outstanding consistency.

110 R, 32 HR, 108 RBI, 1 SB, .270 BA

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2 Responses to Dan Uggla Player Projection No. 51

  1. Caleb Cavileer says:

    Destroying Uggla in runs even though you're projecting him to get 110. So Pedroia's scoring 150?

  2. Schruender says:

    I second what you have just said Caleb. The league leader last year (Pujols) scored only 115 runs.

    I think 110 is a little high, but in KOBEshigawa's defense it wouldn't be a career high for Uggla, and I think Pedroia will be top five in runs this season. Given that Uggla had the best OBP year of his career in 2010, it isn't unheard of for him to score 110 and for Pedroia to put up something close to the 118 he had when he was MVP.

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