Fantasy: Justin Is Top Upton
Sandora, David, Tribune-Review/Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
April saw Justin Upton play like a 21-year-old.
Since then, he's been a seasoned vet.
The younger Upton -- brother B.J. of the Rays is 25; Justin is now 22 -- was plenty good last season, with 15 homers in only 356 at- bats, portending even more success this season. But few people would have predicted the leap forward he has taken to become an All-Star caliber player.
The numbers look good for a player of any age: .308 average, 24 homers, 19 steals, 78 runs and 76 RBI with two weeks left to play. Only 24 players have ever hit 30 or more homers in a season in which they were 22 or younger on July 1. Seven are Hall of Famers, at least two are future Hall of Famers (Albert Pujols and Alex Rodriguez) and none had fewer than 138 homers in their careers. That's the small group of stars who will be ahead of Upton when the season ends.
As keepers go, Upton should be No. 1 on just about any list.
Beware one caveat. Brother B.J.'s numbers at age 22 were eerily similar: .300, 24 homers, 22 steals, 86 runs and 82 RBI in 2007. He followed that with only nine homers the next season.
But the odds are in Justin's favor.
Pedro Martinez -- PHI -- SP
Clay Buchholz -- BOS -- SP
Juan Uribe -- SF -- IF
Edwin Jackson -- DET -- SP
Clint Barmes -- COL -- 2B/SS
Jermaine Dye -- CHW -- OF
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Publication information: Article title: Fantasy: Justin Is Top Upton. Contributors: Sandora, David - Author. Newspaper title: Tribune-Review/Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. Publication date: September 2, 2009. Page number: Not available. © 2009 Tribune-Review/Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. Provided by ProQuest LLC. All Rights Reserved.
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