His "fantasy" numbers have correspondingly dropped. Upton hit 24 home runs last year; he's hit eight this year. He drove in 82 runs last year; he's driven in 62 this year. Those are never positive signs from a recently turned 24-year-old.
Plus, Upton has been benched by manager Joe Maddon several times because Upton failed to run hard when leaving the batter's box.
Clearly, it's been a tough year in the life of Melvin Emmanuel Upton.
But take a closer look at some selected, secondary stats, and you'll see a player who has shown progress in key categories:
Upton's jump in walks and drop in strikeouts show a player who has better command of the strikezone than he did last year. The jump in doubles shows that the power is still there -- though to be fair, Upton's speed helps him secure doubles that the Pujolses of the world can't get.
The bottom line is that Upton is still young for this level and retains a ton of room to grow. He hasn't had the breakout season that was predicted of him, but he remains a breakout candidate entering the final month of the 2008 season and heading into 2009. There's still time for him to fulfill the expectations that come with the name Bossman Junior.