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What The Atlanta Braves Should Expect From Dan Uggla Going Forward

Dan Uggla has found his name in the news lately for the wrong reasons. He put together one of the worst Aprils of his career last month and is currently hitting .218/.276/.395 with five home runs and 10 RBI, including a career-low .177 isolated power and .289 wOBA. So what can we expect from Uggla going forward?

As Ben Duronio at Capitol Avenue Club said, Uggla's line over the past 20 games is .256/.326/.449. Compare this to his worst season in 2007: .245/.326/.479. Ben touches on something here by saying expectations for Uggla's final line should fall somewhere around his 2007 numbers. This is very reasonable to expect from a guy with a career line of .262/.346/.484, even if he has a ways to go.

As Matt Klaassen of FanGraphs adds, Uggla has run into some bad luck with ground balls and fly balls in play, which helped led to a .232 BABIP. But also worth mentioning is an increased swing rate on pitches out of the zone from 22.7% to 26.2%. His outside contact percentage is up as a result, and when you're making contact on pitches out of the zone, you're more than likely not going to make solid contact. This is a big reason why you're seeing a poor BABIP. Just because a hitter has a low BABIP doesn't mean it's all bad luck.

So Uggla's approach in April was not good. He has shown improvement since the turn of the calendar in May, but we won't know for sure if he has turned a corner for the better until another month or so. If he has, a line similar to 2007 should be expected. If he continues to struggle with this, a career-worst year at 31 years old is in the cards.

Photographs by coka_koehler used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.