It was just three weeks ago when we criticized outfielders Jason Kubel and Justin Upton for not being better run producers this season for the Arizona Diamondbacks. It was rightly so. Upton started the season batting .091 and Kubel .185 with runners in scoring position. Those two players are arguably the two most important bats in the lineup and they are counted upon for driving in runs.
They have improved.
Since that start, Kubel has six hits in his last 15 at-bats with runner in scoring position (a .400 average). Upton has six hits in his last 14 such opportunities (a .429 clip).
More importantly, after combining to drive in 13 runs in such situations over the first month of the season, in their last three weeks, they have combined for 18 RBI.
The team's fortunes have not quite turned around, but success in driving in runs by players in the middle of the lineup is a good way to start.
More importantly, in the development of Upton, who is believed to have superstar potential, he has to be a player that drives in runs. He needs to be the player that opposing pitcher fear.
There are a lot of things that need to happen for the Diamondbacks to get back to where they would like to be. However, getting production from Upton and Kubel is a very good place to start.
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