News&Observer on Upton

Will Bossman Junior play SS in majors?
The Raleigh Durham paper tackles the issue of B.J. Upton's fielding getting in the way of his rise to the major league level.

"Many people, including Upton, didn't figure the No. 2 pick of the 2002 draft would still be playing shortstop for the Bulls this deep into the season. The expectation was that Upton, 20, would improve his play at the position and then be quickly whisked away to the Devil Rays."

Well, the Rays GM is pretty committed to keeping him at AAA most of the season. One thing that was realized going into this season was that the Devil Rays were moving their young playeers up to the majors to quickly. That is why Orvella started in AA, and Niemann in A. The year Upton was drafted he was known as a defensive wiz, the question was if he would hit enough. BJ's professional career has taken a complete reverse on that projection. Baseball America recently said moving Upton from SS as a 20 year old would be one of the greatest mistakes.

"Buffalo Bisons manager Marty Brown said there is no question Upton has incredible talent and is a major leaguer waiting to happen. But Brown, who coached his team to a series win over Durham this week, said he sees some differences in Upton from last season, when the shortstop seemed confident and perhaps more able.Last year, he was aggressive"

If it gets to a point where he is pressing where his bat regresses considerably, than its time for BJ to try a new position. It would not be out of the question he could move back to SS at some point. I think it has gotten to a point where he is down a bit. I seriously think he has been through enough. Lets get his bat up there and we can worry about his defense later. Right now we just need to get the BJ started feeling better about himself. Its quite evident he is down.
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