Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) -
His older brother, B.J. gets a lot more press, but right now Justin Upton is the better fantasy baseball player.
Justin plays right field for the Arizona Diamondbacks and on Monday night hit his seventh home run of the season. That blast put him seven ahead of B.J., who plays for the defending American League Champion Tampa Bay Rays.
B.J. came up to the majors in 2004 and in 2007 was thought to be a fantasy star in the making when he belted 24 home runs, knocked in 82 and hit .300.
But while B.J.'s Rays were making it all the way to the World Series last fall, he suffered through a tough regular season hitting just .273 with almost no power (9 HR) and disappointing fantasy owners everywhere. He awakened in the playoffs, hitting seven home runs and knocking in 16 runs, which only managed to anger those owners who suffered with him through the regular season, even more.
Meanwhile, 21-year-old Justin had a "cup of coffee" in 2007 and a average year in 2008 hitting 15 HRs and knocking in 42 in just 356 at-bats. He also struck out 121 times which was probably the primary reason he didn't get more at-bats after displaying decent power.
Despite the disparity in power, B.J.'s Average Draft Position (ADP) in 2009 was an overrated 28 while Justin was almost invisible with an ADP of 157.
Justin has started to blossom, however, and reward those owners who took a "late-round flyer" on the talented younger sibling. He is batting .307 with seven home runs and 18 RBIs in the team's first 33 games. Over the last two weeks, Justin has been one of the National League's best hitters going 20 for 52 (.385) with five HRs and 13 RBIs (OPS 1.189).
Justin is obviously the better value and is owned in about 75% of the fantasy leagues. If your league is one of the 25% where he is still available, you should quickly pickup the young Diamondbacks outfielder.
|2009 Hitting Statistics|