Apr 12, 2013; Washington, D.C., USA; Atlanta Braves left fielder Justin Upton (8) hits the game-tying two-run RBI single in the ninth inning against the Washington Nationals at Nationals Park. The Braves defeated the Nationals 6 – 4 in ten innings. Mandatory Credit: Joy R. Absalon-USA TODAY Sports
In a not-so-surprising announcement, Major League Baseball has awarded Justin Upton with the honor of “Player of the Month” for April in the National League.
Upton absolutely tore the cover off of the ball in April, finishing the month with a .298/.402/.734 triple slash line for an OPS of 1.136 to go along with a league-leading 12 home runs in just 110 plate appearances. It was the best statistical month of Upton’s career (with his previous career-high of 8 home runs in July of 2011), and he was the no doubt choice for the award.
After a “down” year in Arizona in 2012 that saw him hit just 17 home runs with a .785 OPS, Upton seems to have found a comfortable home in Atlanta. The presence of his older brother, BJ, in center field is certainly a plus, but Upton’s work with the bat would play anywhere in the big leagues, and Frank Wren should be commended (and Kevin Towers should be laughed at) for the Upton acquisition at such a reduced cost.
As the year progresses, we may not see another 12-homer month from Upton, but it is certainly possible (and arguably likely) that this sort of MVP-form could continue, and it will be a fantastic show to watch.
Congratulations to Justin Upton!