June 14, 2021

Justin Upton Has an Interesting Season Ahead of Him (FanGraphs)


Kole Calhoun stood at his locker near the close of the 2019 season and talked about appreciating every moment of his eight seasons in Anaheim, knowing that any day could have been his last day. A few months later, the Angels declined his $14 million contract option. He departs Los Angeles having played a little bit of left and a smidgen of center, but mostly the Angels kept Kalhoun sequestered to right field, where in 2019 he hacked fiendishly amid frequent swing adjustments. His final season with the Angels produced inconsistency in his monthly outputs, as well as a new career high in strikeout rate (25.6 percent) and a modest 108 wRC+.

Calhoun is a member of the Fraternity of Less Effective Outfielders the Angels Have Put Next to Mike Trout. There have been many others over the years, placed out there in the corners beside the reigning AL MVP: Vernon Wells, Torii Hunter, Josh Hamilton, Ben Revere. And in 2019, Trout’s partners in the grass were Kole Calhoun and Justin Upton. Calhoun is gone, but Upton, another veteran who is not as good as Mike Trout, will remain. He doesn’t need to be as good as Trout to be of use, something that has to be true for him, since…

Read “Justin Upton Has an Interesting Season Ahead of Him” at FanGraphs