It's been a long, long time coming, but we may finally have a healthy B.J. Upton in the lineup. For reasons beyond my explanation, the human mind sometimes poisons the logic center. Creating hysteria, paranoia, and irrationalities over any length of time. What's the noise in the middle of the night? Must be a murderer. That pain in your mind is a stroke and that taste in your water is arsenic. Upton's prolonged slump gave coal to the flames on whether Upton would be alright at any point this season.
As such, Upton's recent hot streak has silenced those cancerous thoughts. Entering today, Upton was hitting .300/.364/.457 in about 80 June plate appearances. Having known what Upton did today, those numbers will be more robust come the morning. Upton's BABIP is regressing like projected. Upton's strikeout rate continues to plummet; he's around 24% for the month of June while his walk rate is buoying shy of 9%.
I would love to claim this is the magic of statistical principle alone, but I don't think that's the case. Upton's power is awakening; most likely due to regained strength from the rehab and daily grind. Consider that even before today's game Upton had recorded seven extra base hits in June. In April/May combined Upton recorded 11. His bomb off Bobby Parnell continues another recent trend in that Upton's home runs have been longer as of late. I'm sure Hit Tracker will post the data on the new homer sometime in the next day, but check out the distances and dates associated with Upton's other homeruns:
6/16: 425 true distance
6/4: 414 true distance
5/16: 330 true distance
5/15: 392 true distance
While Upton has pulled each pop into the left field seats, his ability to go into right field is showing up more often. Today Upton turned on a 96 MPH fastball that was located up and in. Two months ago he fouls that off if contact is even made. Upton turned around on that fastball just like he's turning around on this season.
B.J.'s back. Tell your brain.