By December of 2012, both B.J. Upton and Nate Schierholtz were granted free agency by their respected clubs; that is about all these two have in common.
Nate Schierholtz signed on with the ‘rebuilding Chicago Cubs, where he would have the opportunity for a starting outfield job. A former 2nd round pick in 2003 by the Giants, the 29 year old Schierholtz is just looking for a place to stick. After 5 often injured seasons, in July of 2012 the Giants parted with Schierholtz in a package that netted them Hunter Pence. After playing in only 37 games, the Phillies let Schierholtz walk, deciding to go young in their outfield.
So far with the Cubs, Schierholtz has been nothing short of spectacular, posting career highs in home runs and slugging percentage in half of a season. Schierholtz is simply one of the best outfielders in the N.L. this season, and he has provided great protection for young slugger Anthony Rizzo. Any team could have signed Nate Schierholtz this off-season; (1 year $2.25 Million) but the Cubs did their homework and found themselves a gem.
Nate Schierholtz 2013:
143 Adjusted OPS/OPS+ (100 is average)
1.6 W.A.R. (Baseball Reference)
The Braves on the other hand decided to go the 'Hollywood’ route, signing B.J. Upton to play with newly acquired younger brother, Justin. For some reason B.J. Upton was paid like an elite player. I’m not sure if it was the media hype, the 'Upton’ name, or pure stupidity, but the Braves handed a career .748 OPS hitter $75 Million Dollars.
Yea, B.J. Upton was once considered a 'future star,’ but that never happened. B.J. has been a fringe-average baseball player in his 9 season MLB career.
Avg. 1.6 W.A.R. per season.
B.J. Upton is not 19 anymore; he’s 28 and is not getting any younger. I am not even saying that he is a bad player, all I am saying is that he is drastically over paid. It’s not even his fault, no one would turn down that kind of money, but look at what he has done to earn it:
B.J. Upton 2013:
61 Adjusted OPS/OPS+ (100 is average)
I was having a tough time writing this piece, mostly because it sounds like I just want to bash B.J. Upton. The real reason we I wrote this article was to highlight the season Nate Schierholtz is having, and I felt the best way to do that was to compare him to one of his peers. Guys like Nate Schierholtz are the entire reason we started this site; praising pure production regardless of expectations.