It’s no secret that Justin Upton has not been particularly clutch in his tenure with the Angels. Going into today, Upton had arguably been the second worst player on the team with 150 Plate Appearances behind Jonathan Lucroy, who himself had been one of the most hurtful individual players in all of baseball. According to Fangraphs, Upton’s -0.58 Win Probability Added was tied for third worst on the team with Justin Bour. Upton’s cumulative WPA since the beginning of 2018 is 110th out of 170 players with at least 750 PA. His successes since joining the team have, without exaggeration, been in garbage time or been too minute to matter.
Today, Justin Upton had his second best game ever as an Angel (if you care about winning and not individual performances). This is not a joke. Upton went 1-4 with 1 RBI and it doesn’t get much better than he was today, apparently.
The truth is, Justin Upton has been so woefully unproductive as an Angel, that since his acquisition in 2017, the .40 WPA he put up today between a solo shot that put Anaheim within 3 and a game-tying fielder’s choice ERROR is a mere hundredth of a win above average shy (.41) of his high mark in Angel red.
Today, Justin Upton broke out. He doubled his WPA since 2018. He almost moved his season score back to 0 (which is effectively a below average player). This has been the culmination of somewhere around $40M worth of team salary. Good job on the win guys.