2013 ATL All Day Braves Awards: Least Valuable Player


Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

Eric Graff: BJ Upton

Its hard to find too much wrong with a 96-win team that won their division by 10 games and secured the #2 seed going into the playoffs, but there were a few glaring weaknesses, and the biggest one this season has to be BJ Upton.  As bad as Dan Uggla also was this season, it’s still not even really close in my opinion.  BJ Upton signed the biggest free agent contract in Braves history this off-season and was expected to do big things, since he is in the prime age of his career and was being reunited with his little brother Justin.  Unfortunately, his season was a disaster from start to finish.  He finished with a bWAR of NEGATIVE 1.8 on the season and an OPS barely exceeding .550.  He had the second highest strikeout rate in the majors and the second worst batting average of players with over 4oo PAs.  I could go on, but let’s be honest, we all know how bad he was. Now all we can hope for is a fresh start next season and hope the Braves didn’t just blow $75 million. Runner-up: Dan Uggla

Mark Kolar: B.J. Upton

Again, no real question here. There are really no words to describe how awful his season was. There were moments when you thought “Hey, he’s coming out of it”, but he would fall right back on his face with a 1-15, or 2-20 slump. And in all my years watching baseball, I don’t remember a player striking out looking as many times as B.J. did in 2013. I have nothing more to add to this, as like many of you, I want to move quickly past this and forget it. Runner Up: Dan Uggla

Brad Rowland: B.J. Upton

I tried. I looked under every rock to find an argument against BJ as the winner of this award, but I couldn’t do it. Even as the world’s foremost BJ Upton defender (click here for evidence), it’s tough to explain away a season where he achieved -0.6 fWAR and -1.8 bWAR while hitting .184/.268/.289 with just 9 home runs in 446 plate appearances.

I’ll be the first to point out that I don’t believe BJ Upton is nearly this bad moving forward, but if you look at the pure numbers, there’s no argument against him as the least valuable player in 2013. The defense and baserunning were still there, and that’s encouraging, but the bat failed Upton in an insane way. Runner-up: Dan Uggla

Harris Nye: B.J. Upton

Unfortunately, the Braves 2013 LVP award featured just as tight a two-man race as the MVP. BJ Upton seemed to have the award locked up midway through the season, but a late push by Dan Uggla made this award into a legitimate conversation.

The Braves two highest paid players both had disastrous seasons with BJ coming out the gate as a train wreck, and despite the occasional flash of competence, never really righted himself. BJ finished the year with a shockingly awful line of.184/.268/.289 and did not get a single hit all season with a runner at third base. BJ struck out a ton, could not get on base, and hit for no power. He was awful at every single offensive thing except for the occasional stolen base. Unfortunately, his inability to ever get on base meant that he rarely had any chances to use his still excellent speed. BJ’s only redeeming quality was the ability to play a solid centerfield but his offense was too much of a dumpster fire for this to really mean much. BJ rated as worse than a replacement player all while making the most money on the team.
Uggla wasn’t much better with a .179/.309/.362 line that was better than Upton’s, but Uggla also managed to cost the Braves 19 runs with his putrid defense. While both of the Braves highly paid stars had trainwreck seasons, BJ has to be considered the LVP. Uggla had a terrible year defensively, but his ability to walk meant he still finished with a higher on base percentage than several Braves regulars including Simmons and Evan Gattis. While Uggla was terrible, at least he had some slight redeeming quality on offense. BJ was just bad all around and has to be the Braves 2013 LVP. Runner-up: Dan Uggla

Drew Wilburn: B.J. Upton

This one is a toss up. Both Dan Uggla and B.J. Upton have had pretty terrible seasons, which is not a good sign coming from your two highest paid players.  Uggla did manage to still put up 22 homers and had enough walks to maintain a decent on-base percentage despite his poor batting average.  I really can’t come up with anything positive to say about Upton’s season.   As a result, the winner is B.J. Upton, who owns the largest contract on the team.  I’m not an expert, but I don’t believe this is how you plan those things. Runner-up: Dan Uggla