It appears he'll continue to.
"I'd prefer to play second base, but that is an advantage for me. They know I'm capable of playing all over."
Uggla had mixed results in 2004, putting up fantastic numbers at Hi-A Lancaster but struggling when he was promoted to Double-A El Paso. Though he admits the quality of pitchers he faced in El Paso was significantly higher than at Lancaster, he also sees another reason for his disappointing numbers at Double-A.
"I think it had a lot to do with not playing everyday. At
This season Uggla will get the best of all worlds, he'll be with the new Diamondbacks Double-A affiliate, the Tennessee Smokies, and he'll likely have the chance to be their everyday second baseman. His offseason was spent getting stronger and faster, and this is from a guy who hit 23 home runs in 2003.
"I just wanted to be able to come into Spring Camp and be ready to hit, ready to run, ready to produce." Uggla says. "I don't see myself as necessarily a home run hitter," he says, "I think a lot of those power numbers came from playing in the California League. I'm a good situational hitter, I'm going to hit some home runs. It's the same thing with stolen bases. I'm not a burner, I'm not the fastest guy, but I'm a good base runner, I can bunt for a hit, I feel like I can do a lot of different things well."
For Uggla this Spring really opened his eyes.
"I worked a lot with the Triple-A group this Spring, but I have gotten called up to play in some of the big league games, and watching those big league guys, it's really amazing. I think it's a big difference, the coaches and the managers are all paying close attention, the pitching is a little better, it's definitely a faster game, but I love the challenge, and I've done pretty well in the games."
the mission is clear. He says it doesn't
bother him that he doesn't know where he's going to play in the field, "You
just get prepared for anything, any position, any situation." He feels like he's been battling for a spot
since the first day of the Spring, and he's certainly
earned his spot in
"I think .310 with fifteen to twenty homers, 80 to 100 RBI, that'd be a pretty good season."