Matt LaPorta was bad early on this season. There were high hopes for him entering the year, a prospect with immense talent that would finally receive regular playing time. Clearly it didn’t happen:
119 At Bats
.218 Batting Average (26 Hits)
1 Home Runs
0 Stolen Bases
.290 On Base Percentage
.277 Slugging Percentage
.269 Batting Average on Balls in Play
He had a chance to earn regular playing time either at 1B or in the OF, but with five extra base hits the Indians had no choice but to demote him. In the five games since being sent down he has done a complete 180.
After going 0-3 in his first game, LaPorta is 6-16 with 5 home-runs and 8 RBI's in the four games since. In his second game back at Triple-A he went 4-4 with 3 home-runs and 5 RBI.
There is no doubting his talent. Prior to ‘10 he had a career with .291 average over 815 minor league AB, hitting 51 HR and picking up 165 RBI. He was the centerpiece of the trade that sent CC Sabathia to Milwaukee.
One week shouldn’t get fantasy owners too excited. Given his extended struggles in the Major Leagues as there’s no guarantee that he’s going to return and just continue to rake. Still, in deeper formats, you have to have at least a little smile on your face if you are holding onto him.
So, the question is, when will LaPorta return? Unfortunately, early word out of Cleveland is that unless he’s going to rejoin the Indians as an everyday player, he’s going to remain in Triple-A. It makes sense, but that doesn’t mean we have to be happy about it.
Unless an injury occurs, it appears LaPorta is likely to remain in the minor leagues until mid-July at the earliest. That will likely be when the Indians can trade someone like Austin Kearns or Russell Branyan, re-opening playing time for him.
If you are in a keeper/deeper league, I would continue to stash him on your bench. The talent is there, it’s just a matter of displaying it in the major leagues. If you are in a shallower league or a yearly league, what’s the point? No one else in your league is likely clamoring to get him so take advantage of the roster spot now and try to reacquire him when he returns.
What are your thoughts on LaPorta? Will he make an impact in 2010? Would you just drop him or hold onto him?
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