MLB: 4 National League Hitters Who Need to Have Big Second Halves

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B.J. Upton, Atlanta Braves

Jul 14, 2013; Atlanta, GA, USA; Atlanta Braves center fielder B.J. Upton (2) sits on the bench during the game against the Cincinnati Reds at Turner Field. Mandatory Credit: Daniel Shirey-USA TODAY Sports

Perhaps I’m stating the obvious name here, but B.J. Upton needs to be on this list, regardless of how obvious the selection is.

Upton’s currently nursing a right abductor injury. He’s on the 15-day DL, along with Jason Heyward. Justin Upton is also hurt, and Evan Gattis was hurt. You can also add Jordan Schafer into that group too. So, everyone’s hurt, at least it seems.

But Upton’s hurting just a bit more, sitting on a batting line of .177/.266/.300, all of which are unsurprisingly career lows.

Unlike the two players above (Parra and Pence), Upton hasn’t had a hot streak where he has come back down to earth. He’s been way below earth since April. In fact, June was the only month in which he had a batting average north of .200 and OPS+ north of 100.

There are two reasons why it would behoove of Upton to have a solid second half, and they’re both fairly obvious.

The first one being for his personal sake. No one likes to struggle, and the Braves could use a productive B.J. Upton to further pad their NL East lead. Secondly, well, there’s that $75 million contract hanging over him, and as of today, that contract is what we call a “bust” in the industry.