01 August 2010
Rich Waltz and Tommy Hotton gave their usual call of “and his name is… Dan Uggla!” as Uggla hit his 23rd home run of the 2010 season, but more importantly that home run made him the Florida Marlins career leader in home runs. Truth is Dan Uggla is the best home run hitter in the league that very few people actually know of. Since his rookie year in 2006 only Ryan Howard, Albert Pujols, Adam Dunn, David Ortiz, Miguel Cabrera, Lance Berkman, and Alfonso Soriano have hit more home runs then Uggla (144 home runs), and Dan could easily pass both Soriano and Berkman by the end of this year.
What most people outside of South Florida remember Uggla for was his horrendous performance in the 2008 All-Star game. Dan Uggla had a total of 3 errors in that game, the most by a single player in an All-Star game, all coming in extra innings and two of them came on back to back plays in the 10th inning. It also didn’t help matters much that Dan also went 0-4 with three strike outs and also grounded out to a double play. What people don’t remember is that, that was actually Uggla’s second All-Star game appearance. He was also an All-Star in his rookie season on 2006 and he became the first Rule 5 draft pick to ever go to the All-Star game the following year.
Thats right, Dan Uggla was a Rule 5 draft selection. Dan was originally drafted by the Arizona Dimondbacks in the 11th round of the 2001 draft out of Memphis. Although Dan was productive in the minors for Arizona, he never made it above Class-AA, and was left off of the Dimondbacks 40-man roster. This gave the Marlins the opening to draft him, and he became the starting second baseman for the Marlins the following season. Remember 2006 was the season after the Marlins traded away most of there talent form the 2003 World Series team, and were the youngest team in the majors. In his rookie year Dan hit 27 home runs, went to the All-Star game, and came in third in the NL Rookie of the Year vote, but he was named the NL Players Choice and NL Sporting News Rookie of the Year.
Since that rookie year Dan Uggla has become the fastest second baseman to 100 home runs (only 502 games). He became the first second baseman to hit 20 or more home runs in his first 5 seasons, and is two homers away from being the first to hit 25 in his first 5 seasons. Dan is also on pace this year to hit 30 home runs for the fourth consecutive year and 90 RBIs for the third consecutive year.