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1/8/1985 (32 y, 2 m, 22 d)
2007 June Amateur Draft - Round: 1, Pick: 7, Overall: 7, Team: Milwaukee Brewers
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LaPorta and Jack Cust were released by the Orioles on Friday, Eduardo A. Encina of the Baltimore Sun reports. (3/21/2014)
Mash Report (2/11/13)
Jeff Zimmerman (RotoGraphs)
2012 First Base Tiers: July
Mike Axisa (RotoGraphs)
Checking in on the International League Studs
Bradley Woodrum (FanGraphs)
Roto Riteup: June 4th, 2012
Zach Sanders (RotoGraphs)
Jarrod Dyson & Matt LaPorta: Deep League Waiver Wi»
Mike Podhorzer (RotoGraphs)
(Click Year to Expand /
Year in Review:
The centerpiece of the C.C. Sabathia trade with Milwaukee in ‘08, LaPorta made his Major League debut in 2009 after tearing up Triple-A to the tune of a .401 wOBA in 93 games. Although his overall production in the Majors was slightly disappointing – a .327 wOBA in slightly less than 200 PAs grades out as insignificantly below average – there were certainly signs of a productive MLB hitter. LaPorta’s .188 ISO is well above average and, given his minor league history, a strikeout rate of 20% is slightly better than we might have expected to start his career. A 6.2% walk rate leaves something to be desired, and it resulted in the .308 on-base percentage that dragged down his wOBA.
The Year Ahead:
LaPorta has a pretty impressive track record in the minor leagues. With that in mind, we can expect an improvement in just about every major category in 2010. His walk rate will probably crawl closer to average, and his ISO should approach .200. With a starting job, LaPorta is a candidate for 25 home runs and 75-90 RBI, depending on the additions that the Indians organization makes to its roster. LaPorta may strike out a bit more than he did in ‘09, but his BABIP was also on the low-ish side, so a .240-.265 average would make sense for the young slugger. Questions abound on his defensive ability, and it remains to be seen whether he’ll land at left field, first base, or DH, which will have a major impact on his fantasy value going forward. The club recently signed Russell Branyan to act as insurance on the youngster. (Jack Moore)
Matt LaPorta’s dreadful 2010 Major League line (.221/.306/.362) might make those who remember him as the centerpiece in the CC Sabathia trade groan. LaPorta’s been disappointing so far for sure, and, at 26, there probably isn’t much development time left. In the Major Leagues, his power and ability to make contact have been disappointing and his walk rate hasn’t high enough to make up for it. However, there are reasons for hope -- LaPorta doesn’t have the extremely high strikeout rate that many young sluggers do, and his large samples in the upper minors all are impressive. It’s still an open question as to whether his success in the minors will translate into the Majors, and even a .270/.350/.450 line in 2011 might be on the hopeful side. However, a big part of fantasy value is simply having the player on the field. Cleveland currently doesn’t have any better alternatives for first base, and they have no reason not to give LaPorta the longest leash possible. That means decent counting numbers. There probably isn’t much upside here, but there is a little. LaPorta isn’t a likely fantasy stud, but you could do much, much worse filling your 1B spot in all but the shallowest leagues. (Matt Klaassen)
The Quick Opinion:
LaPorta probably won’t turn out to be the stud at the plate most thought he would be as a minor-league prospect, but he’ll get enough playing time for a rebuilding Cleveland team that he can put up some decent counting stats.
High expectations have been heaped on LaPorta since day one and he hasn't come close to living up to them. And this isn't the case of a player being merely good when he was expected to be great -- LaPorta has been unplayable. His 2011 OPS+ was 93 and this was an increase over the 84 he posted in 2010. He has 30 home runs in more than 1000 MLB plate appearances after being expected to have 30 per year as a prospect. 2012 will be different for LaPorta, but that may not be a good thing. The Indians intend to have competition for LaPorta in camp and he will have to earn the starting first base spot. Even if he does get that spot, he likely doesn't get any more than the 385 PAs he had in 2011, as the Tribe will play Carlos Santana at first regularly to keep him in the lineup as often as possible. The potential that made LaPorta a top prospect may still be there, but he'll play next season at 27 and it is getting harder to believe he will ever live up to the hype. (Chad Young)
The Quick Opinion:
LaPorta has been a disappointment ever since coming to Cleveland, and now he is going to enter Spring Training without a guaranteed roster spot. He may be worth a late flyer, but he is probably a better fit on a watch list than a roster.
The Indians have moved on. When you bring in Casey Kotchman, Lars Anderson, Russ Canzler, Chris McGuiness and eventually sign Mark Reynolds, you are making a pretty clear statement on your "first baseman of the future." Time for fantasy players to move on, too. (
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Updated: Thursday, March 30, 2017 3:39 AM ET
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