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Tuesday, January 23, 2018

2018 FANTASY BASEBALL DRAFT DEBATE: GEORGE SPRINGER/JUSTIN UPTON

The outfielders take center stage in our next 2018 Fantasy Baseball Draft Debate and today's subjects center on Los Angeles Angels outfielder Justin Upton and the Houston Astros' George Springer.  Both guys came up with a five-tool reputation but both have gone through some peaks and valleys on their way to their present low-end OF value.  As always, let's compare the two using all five standard categories in order to see who in fact should be drafted ahead of the other. 

RUNS:  This one is closer than you may have imagined as both Upton and Springer reached the 100-run mark in 2017.  Upton hit it right on the nose, while Springer came in at 112.  The difference here though is that Springer bats leadoff, while Upton is likely to be in the third or fourth spot this season for the Angels.  This ultimately is the reason Springer gets the nod.
ADVANTAGE:  George Springer

HOME RUNS:  Again very close but Upton has the more natural power of the two and over the last two seasons, has put up 66 homers to Springer's 63.  Yes, you could argue a draw but if you were a betting man and had to put your house on who would end up with more homes, you would pick Upton.
ADVANTAGE:  Justin Upton

STEALS:  Both Upton and Springer flashed some major speed in the minors but only Upton has consistently brought it to the majors.  In fact, Springer hardly runs at all anymore as he swiped just 5 bags a year ago, while Upton was way more active with 14. 
ADVANTAGE:  Justin Upton

AVERAGE:  Both Upton and Springer have some strikeout holes in the swing but the difference here is that the latter has gotten better.  In fact, Springer has had a better average than Upton each of the last two years and he has a shot at .280 or better.  Upton meanwhile, will likely come in below that mark given his high strikeout total.
ADVANTAGE:  George Springer

RBI:  The decider gives Upton the surprising nod overall as the Angels outfielder's spot in the third or fourth hole will lead to plentiful RBI.  While Springer will have some weaker hitters in front of him once the lineup goes over once, Upton will have Mike Trout constantly on base to drive in.
ADVANTAGE:  Justin Upton

WINNER:  Justin Upon

Admit that your instant reaction to this is dismissive and the reason being is that Springer is the younger guy and is more the new kid on the block.  While I get it, the numbers don't lie here as Upton has more power, is more active on the bases, and will surely have more RBI.  The choice is clear.


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