LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- B.J. Upton will experience a number of firsts as he fulfills his dream of playing with his brother and gets used to being a Braves player this year. The veteran outfielder got a few of those firsts out of the way Tuesday, when he made his first appearance at Spring Training.
When Upton arrived at Champion Stadium, he found his locker located next to his brother Justin's. The two brothers joined fellow outfielder Jason Heyward for an impressive batting-practice session that showed the potential strength of Atlanta's new-look outfield.
"This is something I've been looking forward to, but we've got about eight months of it," B.J. Upton said. "So it's something I'm sure I'll get used to."
While he had taken batting practice with his brother during the offseason, this marked the first time Upton gained a better sense of the impressive power created by Heyward's left-handed swing.
"I haven't seen anything like that," Upton said. "I played here [at Champion Stadium] in Double-A, and the wind blows straight in. For him to cut the wind like that with the wind blowing to left, that is tough to do. That got me pretty excited for the season."
Upton signed a franchise-record five-year, $75.25 million contract with the Braves in November. The 28-year-old outfielder had spent each of his previous 10 professional seasons with the Rays.
"It's a change of scenery for me," Upton said. "I'm part of a pretty good ballclub. There is kind of a lot of hype surrounding us right now, so it's kind of good to get out there and just talk and not really worry about that. I'm just going to come out, have fun and get acclimated with the guys."
When Justin Upton arrived at camp on Monday, he said he had told his brother he was crazy to want to make the 45-minute commute from his Tampa-area home to Atlanta's Spring Training complex. This is the first Florida-based Spring Training for Justin, who spent each of his previous seven professional seasons with the D-backs in Arizona.
"It's a piece of cake," B.J. Upton said of his daily commute. "It's pretty quick. I've done it. I know what the drive is like. He is new to it."