Last week, we noted a new feature here, looking at South Atlantic League All-Star Game Alumni (Steve Carlton). We are now just 19 weeks away from the 2013 South Atlantic League All-Star Game at First Energy Park. This week’s profile of a former South Atlantic League All-Star is of B.J. Upton.
In 2003, Upton made his professional debut and played in 101 games with the Charleston RiverDogs of the South Atlantic League. He hit .302 (116-for-384) with seven home runs and 46 runs batted in, in those games. A shortstop at the time, Upton also swiped 38 bases in 55 tries (69%) and was named to the South Atlantic League All-Star Game during his tenure with the RiverDogs. Upton advanced and finished the season in Double-A with the Orlando Rays where he appeared in 29 games and hit .276 with a home run and 16 RBI.
“Bossman Junior” began 2004 with Double-A Montgomery, but quickly excelled to Triple-A Durham and eventually made his debut with the Tampa Bay Devil Rays on August 2, 2004 at the age of 19. He spent all of 2005 and most of 2006 back with Durham before making it to Tampa Bay for good.
Following the 2012 season Upton became a free agent and signed with the Atlanta Braves. In January, the Braves acquired his brother Justin Upton in a trade with the Arizona Diamondbacks. BJ enters the 2013 season with a .255 average, 118 career home runs, and 232 stolen bases.
Extra Base: Joining Upton on the 2003 Southern Division All-Star roster was current Atlanta Braves catcher and teammate Brian McCann and former Atlanta Braves outfielder Jeff Francoeur.