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J-Up honored with second Silver Slugger Award

Braves left fielder ranked second among NL outfielders in homers (29), RBIs (102)

ATLANTA -- Justin Upton's September struggles erased his status as a legitimate National League Most Valuable Player Award candidate. But it was not damaging enough to prevent him from winning his second Louisville Slugger Silver Slugger Award.

Upton was selected as one of the NL's top three offensive performers in the outfield when this year's Silver Slugger Awards were presented on Thursday night. The Braves' left fielder garnered this same honor while playing for the 2011 D-backs.

Though he struggled throughout the season's final month, Upton still ranked second among all NL outfielders with 29 home runs and a career-best 102 RBIs. His .491 slugging percentage ranked fourth and his .833 OPS stood as the seventh-best mark among this group.

Video: PIT@ATL: J. Upton sends a two-run home run to left

When Upton won his initial Silver Slugger Award, he hit 31 homers, collected 88 RBIs, produced a .529 slugging percentage and posted an .898 OPS. The 27-year-old outfielder was positioned to best his 2011 home run total, slugging percentage and OPS before he endured this year's September slump.

Upton possessed a strong MVP candidacy when he exited August hitting .288 with 26 homers, 91 RBIs, a .520 slugging percentage and an .880 OPS. But on the way to running his career-high strikeout total to 171, he spent the season's final month hitting .169 with three home runs, a .325 slugging percentage and a .559 OPS.

Like during his inaugural 2013 season in Atlanta, Upton began this year in impressive fashion, batting .326 with eight homers and a 1.041 OPS in April. After batting just .226 with a .617 OPS in June, he rebounded to hit .305 with a .926 OPS in 54 games in July and August.

Before Upton gained this latest honor, the Braves had not had a Silver Slugger Award winner since Brian McCann won his fifth in a six-year span in 2011. The most recent Atlanta outfielder to gain this honor had been Andruw Jones in 2005.

Mark Bowman is a reporter for
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