Dan Uggla has been at the forefront of many Atlanta Braves clippings in the past year, but not for the reasons the organization hoped when the signed the former Marlins slugger in 2011.
Uggla has seen a decline in his stats and his popularity since arriving in Atlanta, to the point of being left off the Braves’ postseason roster last season, even after starting at second base for the majority of the year.
The hope by many is that a corrective lasik surgery and a gentle nudge in the rear would get Uggla going again, and so far, that seems to be the case.
The three-time All-Star has been on a torrid pace so far this spring, hitting for a .429 avg., with a.545 obp. and .429 slugging pct. after a week of play.
The best thing about Uggla’s performance at the plate though, may have to do with his attitude. He’s openly stated that he’s going to be much less concerned with hitting home runs, and will attempt to be more of a complete hitter. Nothing could please Braves fans more.
It’s still early, and Uggla has been known to be a bit of streaky hitter, but the Braves can’t help but be encouraged by what they’ve seen from their second baseman thus far. Maybe last year’s league-worst .179 average (among qualifying hitters) was just the wake-up call that the Braves slugger needed.