Matt LaPorta Bio
Matt LaPorta is the key player in the package for Cy Young winner CC Sabathia. Who is he? What does he bring to the table offensively? And will he get a shot to play in Cleveland in 2008?
MLB ETA: 2008
Stats: 6’2″, 210
Postion: First, LF, RF, DH
LaPorta was drafted only one short year ago in the 2007 MLB draft, taken 7th overall in what some at the time considered a reach. Matt quickly advanced to high A in his shortened 2007 and had a standout campaign in the Arizona Fall League. Heading into 2008 many considered LaPorta to be on the fast track to the majors, with the only possible slowdown being his lack of defensive skills and current stars Braun and Fielder at the major league levels.
Matt LaPorta Key Stats Box
For a power hitter LaPorta has demonstrated a strong SO/BB ratio, which is shown in his .400+ OBP. From the sample of his 87 hits, more than half (45) have been for extra bases. In his minor league career Matt has a HR/AB ratio of right around 8, which is extremely high.
Often overlooked in minor league stats is success off of starters and relievers. Typically, star pitchers in the minors are starters. Outside of a closer and perhaps a set-up man, minor league pitching staffs are filled in with lesser talents in the middle and long relief roles.
LaPorta has faired better off of starters than relievers
vs Starters: .1065 OPS
vs Relievers: .842 OPS
Drafted as a firstbaseman, Matt has spent the majority of his time in RF in 2008, with quick stints in left and at first. This position flexability could allow LaPorta to jump right into a starters role on many major league clubs. LaPorta should be in a starters role in a corner outfield spot for Cleveland later this season. He could also see time in the DH role while Hafner is on the DL and/or remains ineffective.