Melvin Upton Jr. says he will go by BJ again this season
Melvin Upton Jr. intends to continue playing in 2019 despite not making an MLB roster last year, and the veteran outfielder may have a clever why of trying to convince teams he has turned back the clock.
If you followed Upton during the best years of his career, you know that he used to go by the nickname B.J. when he was smashing home runs with the Tampa Bay Rays. On Tuesday, Upton announced he is going back to the name he embraced during his prime.
.@MLBNetwork Melvin Upton announces he will be officially known as B.J. Upton, once again.
— sboeck (@scott_boeck) January 15, 2019
Upton has not appeared in an MLB game since 2016, when he hit .238 with 20 home runs and 61 RBI in time split between the Toronto Blue Jays and San Diego Padres. He played in some Triple-A games with the San Francisco Giants in 2017 and was with the Cleveland Indians in spring training last year but did not make the final roster.
The nickname B.J. stands for “Bossman Junior,” and Upton was known as B.J. because his father, Melvin Upton, went by the nickname “Bossman.” The odds of Upton being signed this offseason seem slim, so perhaps the 34-year-old is hoping he has a better chance as B.J. than he would as Melvin. Though, he insisted his last name change had nothing to do with his performance on the diamond.