Best Disappointment in Valley Sports - 2012
Justin Upton, Arizona Diamondbacks
When trade talks began about Diamondbacks right fielder Justin Upton this season, we hoped the team would send him packing. You know, get something/someone valuable in return for him, unlike local teams traditionally haven't done here with floundering "superstars." (Does the name Amar'e Stoudemire come to mind?) But, of course, the D-backs held on to their former top draft choice. And he has performed better, but not to the point of becoming the perennial All-Star power hitter they've paid through the nose for — he signed a six-year, $51.25 million contract two years ago. When he came to the majors in 2009, he had a .300 average. He's never achieved that since, batting .273, .289, and so far this season .272. But what's disappointing for this long-ball hitter by trade are his home run and runs-batted-in totals in 2012. He hit 31 home runs last season, with 88 RBI, and seemed finally to be living up to his heralded potential. This year he's hit nine homers and has a measly (for a slugger) 45 RBI. He's letting Jason Kubel-come-lately in the Snakes' lineup eclipse him. Naturally, Upton's got the huge contract that comes with major talent, but he hasn't played like an $8.54-million-a-year man this summer.