Carlos Quentin succumbed to the hamstring injury just days after being recalled from Triple-A. With Scott Hairston having also been traded to the San Diego Padres, the Diamondbacks finally had room in the majors for their hottest prospect all year.
Justin Upton began the year in A-ball, coming off a merely solid debut professional season. But after batting .341 through 32 games, he got promoted to Double-A in mid-May. Because he batted .309 with 13 homers at Mobile, Upton skipped Triple-A and went straight to the parent Diamondbacks.
"Once he made it to Double-A that became an option for us, because guys make that jump a lot," said A.J. Hinch, the Diamondbacks' Director of Player Development. "He's answered every challenge that we've put ahead of him so far. It wouldn't surprise me if he was able to handle everything we put in front of him."
Upton's total 18 home runs ranks second in the organization only to South Bend's Brad Miller and fellow center field prospect Chris Young, both tied at 19. The 19-year old also boasts a combined .319 batting average, .961 OPS, and 19 stolen bases.
The rookie will likely see the bulk of his playing time in right field, with the hot Chris Young entrenched in center and Jeff DaVanon struggling in his return from the disabled list. Upton has started eight games in right field over the past month, and made two errors in those eight games.
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