I’ve been doing a lot of driving lately on my way down to Atlanta. Now that I’m here, I saw Dan Uggla extend his hitting streak to an Atlanta-high (and major league high this season) 32 games. On my way here, I was listening to a lot of sports podcasts, and the prevailing thought was that Uggla’s streak wasn’t too impressive…because his batting average is still low. While it’s true that Uggla’s batting average is still just at .229 32 games into the streak, it was at .173 when the streak began. That’s an increase of 56 points. 56 points is nothing to sneeze at. Think about it this way: if Uggla was a .245 hitter coming into the streak, he’d be a .300 hitter at this point in the streak. Pretty awesome.
Another thing that’s being overlooked is what type of hits Uggla is getting. While it’s true that he has a lot of infield hits (nine, if my math is correct), he’s also got a lot of home runs: 14 to be exact, after a pair of bombs last night. He came into the streak with 12. So in other words, he’s more than doubled his homer output after a 32 game stretch. 30 is a near certainty at this point, and 35 might not be out of the question either. His career high is 33, a mark that could definitely be in danger this season.
While Uggla’s batting average for the season is still low, it’s not low during the streak: he’s at .370 right now. That’s near the lower end of the spectrum of all 20 game hitting streaks this season (third lowest among the nine players that have hit in at least 20 straight this year), but it’s still not awful. But like I mentioned earlier: you need to look at the type of hits Uggla is getting. His .740 SLG is second highest, behind only Dustin Pedroia’s .752 back in July. The next closest player is more than 100 points away. He might not be getting hits in bunches like the other players on the list, but he’s getting hits that do a lot more in the long run. Not that I care about RBI, but his 31 during the streak are far and away the highest out of any 20+ game streakers.
So please, before you criticize Uggla’s hitting streak…dig a little deeper.