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Justin Upton should be the Arizona Diamondbacks leadoff man

You know that maxim that you were inundated with as a child — “Don’t judge a book by its cover”? The sentiment of the statement is benevolent but, as a society, we’ve all but abandoned its application.

I, for example, frequently hear that I don’t look like a sports fan — if there is such a look. Maybe I don’t wear enough athletic apparel, maybe I should be drinking more crappy light mainstream lagers, or maybe I should grow a goatee.

I don’t know how to acquire that image but, as things stand, my appearance seems to give no credence to the truth that I have an addiction to sports. (In fact, a couple of weeks ago, I was called a “closet jock.”)

Appearance is just a poor basis for drawing conclusions. Based on appearance, Nate Robinson shouldn’t be able to dunk a basketball. And Rory McIlroy shouldn’t be able to drive a golf ball 310 yards. Paul Goldschmidt shouldn’t be leading the Diamondbacks in stolen bases. And Mike Zagurski shouldn’t be a professional athlete… In any sport other than curling or archery.

That’s why the following statement is going to be repugnant to your prejudicial self.

Justin Upton should be batting leadoff for the Arizona Diamondbacks.

(Before we dive into the proof, let me give credit to shoewizard at for being the first to write about this.)

Also, before you deem this idea absurd or asinine, here’s what Upton himself had to say about the suggestion when we talked about it on Monday:

“I haven’t really thought about it. I mean, I know I could bat leadoff — I’ve always just been a middle-of-the-order guy. But I’d be open to it…”

(After sharing my logic with him.)

(Joking) “Maybe if I was batting leadoff, I’d be hitting .340. (Laughs). No, you’ve definitely got a solid story… Sounds like there’s some pretty good evidence there… I’d definitely (bat leadoff).”

Leading off

Upton hasn’t batted leadoff since his freshman year in high school, so it’s hard to determine just how well he’d do as a table setter. But we can gather a bit of an estimate on how he’d fare, based on how he has done when leading off an inning this year.

Justin Upton, when leading off an inning


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