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Justin Upton

Justin upton.jpg

Position Right Field
Team Arizona Diamondbacks
Years of Experience 1 years
Age 20
Height 6 ft 2 in
Weight 205 lb
Bats Right
Throws Right
College Rice University
2008 Salary $393,000
Place of Birth Norfolk Virginia
Selection 1st round (1st overall) 2005 amateur draft
Drafted by Arizona Diamondbacks
Major League Debut August 7, 2007
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Justin Irvin Upton (born August 25 1987 in Norfolk, Virginia) is a Major League Baseball right fielder for the Arizona Diamondbacks. He was selected first overall by the Diamondbacks in the 2005 major league draft. He was previously an all-district shortstop for Great Bridge High School in Chesapeake, Virginia, and was awarded the AFLAC National High School Player of the Year Award. He is also the brother of Tampa Bay Rays center fielder B.J. Upton, who was taken #2 in the 2002 draft. In his first pro season he played for single-A South Bend Silver Hawks. He began 2007 with the High Class-A Visalia Oaks, but was promoted to the AA Mobile BayBears after hitting .341 with 5 home runs for the Oaks in April.

On August 2, 2007, Upton was called up to the big league team at the age of only 19, following an injury to everyday right fielder Carlos Quentin. He later made his major league debut exactly three years after his brother B.J. made his for the Devil Rays.

Upton was originally drafted as a shortstop, but was later moved to center field because the Diamondbacks already had Stephen Drew at the position. When he was called up, the Diamondbacks had star rookie Chris Young at center field, so Upton shifted to right. He will most likely begin the 2008 season as the Diamondbacks' starting right fielder.

Upton recorded his first career major league hit and run scored on August 4, 2007, in his third major league game. His first career RBI came the next day, and his first career home run two days after that. He almost became the youngest player ever to hit for the cycle on that day, falling just a single shy of the milestone.

In 2008 Spring Training, Upton hit over .300 with three home runs, 12 RBI, and four stolen bases, earning the starting right field job over Jeff Salazar. Manager Bob Melvin stated that Upton has a "very high ceiling" and that it "wouldn't surprise him" if he had a great 2008 season.[1]

Scouts rave about Upton's talent, and he is often compared to current star Ken Griffey, Jr. Baseball Tonight's Peter Gammons recently stated during an episode that a major league general manager recently told him that "Upton was the best 20-year-old he's ever seen."

2008 season

Upton began the season and holds the current title of being the youngest active major leaguer. Upton collected his first big hit of the 2008 major league season on April 3. In the sixth inning of a game against the Cincinnati Reds, he broke up a no-hitter in the major league debut of Johnny Cueto with a home run. It was Arizona's only hit of the contest. The next night (April 4), he went 3 for 5 against the Colorado Rockies in their home opener with his second home run of the season. For the third consecutive ballgame on April 5, Upton homered while collecting three hits in a 7-2 Arizona victory. On April 11, Upton homered off Jeff Francis of Colorado for his fourth home run of 2008 campaign. The home run was in an 8-2 victory that was the seventh straight for Arizona. The very next day (April 12), he and Arizona continued their hot streaks, with Upton going 3 for 3, hitting a majestic three-run home run to dead center field at Chase Field and the Diamondbacks winning 10-3, marking their eighth straight win. Upton had a career-high four RBI on the day.



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