Justin Upton is one of the most storied Black baseball players in the history of baseball and he’s gotten some of his swagger back early this season as he currently carries a 10-game hitting streak.
Upton is often overshadowed playing under the bright lights of Los Angeles with three of the most iconic figures in baseball: The best player (Mike Trout) most interesting (Shohei Otani) and one of the greatest hitters ever (Albert Pujols).
Maybe the fewer eyes and pressure on him, the better, as he is getting more pitches to hit and he is not letting those opportunities go to waste as he has gotten a hit in each of his last 10 games heading into Tuesday night’s contest against the Texas Rangers.
Upton is 11 for 39 with a .282 average during the streak. He has 7 RBI’s and has hit 4 home runs, including a 412ft, 103MPH laser to left field Monday at Globelife Field.
— MLBbro.com (@MLBbrodotcom) April 27, 2021
That Upton bomb must have put something in the air as veteran Albert Puljos would go back to back with him.
Upton is the former 1st overall pick by the Arizona Diamondbacks in the 2005 MLB Draft. His brother B.J. was drafted 2nd overall in the 2002 draft. This made the Upton’s the first set of brothers to be picked in the No. 1 and No. 2 spots of any draft.
The brothers also hold the record for most home runs in a single game while on the same team with five, passing Jason and Jeremy Giambi as well as Vladimir and Wilton Guerrero.
They are so much alike that they both decided to hit their 100th career home runs on August 8th of 2012; Justin got his 30 minutes before B.J.
Upton is a four-time all-star and a three-time winner of the Silver Slugger award. He also is fond of hitting deep shots to left on April 26th, which he had done in both 2009 and 2021.
This season Upton is hitting .239 with 5 Home runs and 12 RBI. He has dealt with multiple injuries in years past and is already nearly equaling his home run total from last year. If he can keep this pace up, he can get to the 30 homer mark for the first time since 2018.
On paper, the Angels have one of the best lineups in all of baseball. Pitching will play a key role in their goals to reach the playoffs this season, but in a wide-open American League West, maybe they can hit their way to winning the pennant. Upton’s ability to serve as protection in the lineup for Trout and Ohtani will go a long way towards helping the LA Angels finally get back to the playoffs.