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Indians' Matt LaPorta Aims to Get Back on Track With Triple-A Columbus

NEW YORK - MAY 29:  Matt LaPorta #7 of the Cleveland Indians in action against The New York Yankees during their game on May 29, 2010 at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx Borough of New York City.  (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
Al Bello/Getty Images
Brian MurtaughAnalyst IJune 15, 2010

Heading into this season, many people surrounding the Indians organization hoped that Matt LaPorta would mold himself into a key part of the rebuilding offense.

A young talented prospect, LaPorta finished the 2009 season in fourth place for slugging percentage in the International League and tied for 11th in home runs with 17 longballs to his credit.

Matt also played a total of 52 games for the Tribe last season, covering two different trips up to the Majors. 

During the end of the 2009 season, LaPorta played in the final 39 games collecting 6 home runs, 17 RBI, and an average of .273. Those numbers were good enough to lock him into a spot on the 2010 roster and also gave Indians' fans many reasons to be optimistic.

Fast forward to present day and LaPorta's situation within the Cleveland organization is much different. In 2010, Matt only managed to compile a .218 average over the course of 35 games and only had one home run to his credit.

Among the many struggles that Matt went through over the early course of this season, none could be much worse than his performance at home.

Within the familiar confines of Progressive Field, LaPorta only hit .157. Not exactly the numbers that the organization was looking for.

Because of a lack of production and consistency, LaPorta was sent down to Triple-A Columbus last week.

In many cases, being demoted from the "big team" can be very harsh on a player's confidence and overall attitude but luckily for Cleveland, the result was completely opposite.

Over the course of the seven games, LaPorta has had with Columbus, Matt has hit .407 with 5 home runs and 9 RBI. Not only has this propelled life throughout the Clippers, it has also seemed to give Matt the overall kick to get himself back on track.

If LaPorta can put up consistent numbers against the Triple-A competition, expect him to be back with the Indians sometime in July until the end of the season.

With the team slowly becoming more focused on development than contention, younger players will begin to get time at the big league level in hopes to find talent for seasons to come.

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