Atlanta Braves centerfielder B.J. Upton will now go by Melvin Upton Jr., reports Dave O'Brien of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. He will also wear "Upton Jr." on the back of his jersey for the first time, instead of just "Upton."
Upton's full name is Melvin Emmanuel Upton. He went by the nickname "B.J." in reference to his father, Manny Upton, who was known as "Bossman Junior."
Braves officials said Upton would answer questions about the name change when he reports for spring training in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. The team has already updated its spring training roster with the change:
Upton has struggled in his two seasons with the Braves, hitting .198 with 21 home runs and 61 RBI in 267 games. He signed a five-year, $72.5 million contract with the Braves as a free agent in 2013 following eight years with the Tampa Bay Rays, with whom he was a .255 hitter with a .336 on-base percentage and .422 slugging percentage.
- Mike Fiammetta