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Notice anything different with LaPorta?

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Notice anything different with LaPorta?

Postby Prosecutor » Sun Sep 25, 2011 5:49 am

I have. Since coming back from his 10-day stay in Columbus earlier this month he looks like a different hitter. He's going to right field a lot more and isn't trying to pull everything. He's hitting .333 (9-for-27) since coming back. Admittedly it's a small sample size, but it's clear to me he is doing a much better job of hitting the ball where it's pitched as opposed to pulling everything.

“He has trouble with breaking balls,” Acta said (two weeks ago). “Also, it’s the way he uses his legs and his ability to use the whole field. He’s worked hard on these things, but you don’t see results. I know he profiles as a guy who is supposed to walk and hit for power.”

I'm seeing him using the whole field a lot more this month. In Friday's game against the Twins, for example, he had hits in his first three at-bats, all to right or center field. In his last at-bat he got behind 0-2, laid off a couple of teaser breaking balls to even the count, then lined out to the second baseman. He put up four quality at-bats in a row, all going to right or center field.

Maybe I'm being too optimistic, but from what I've seen the last three weeks I'm hoping the light has finally come on and LaPorta has realized he'll have more success if he doesn't try to be a right-handed Jim Thome. The main thing he has to accomplish is get better against lefties. He's hitting .202/.574 against left-handed pitching this year. I have no idea what his problem is. Maybe they're pitching him away and he's trying to pull everything. Lou Marson is hitting over .300 against lefties and he hits everything to right field or center field.
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Re: Notice anything different with LaPorta?

Postby indianinkslinger » Sun Sep 25, 2011 7:17 am

Prosecutor wrote:I have. Since coming back from his 10-day stay in Columbus earlier this month he looks like a different hitter. He's going to right field a lot more and isn't trying to pull everything. He's hitting .333 (9-for-27) since coming back. Admittedly it's a small sample size, but it's clear to me he is doing a much better job of hitting the ball where it's pitched as opposed to pulling everything.

“He has trouble with breaking balls,” Acta said (two weeks ago). “Also, it’s the way he uses his legs and his ability to use the whole field. He’s worked hard on these things, but you don’t see results. I know he profiles as a guy who is supposed to walk and hit for power.”

I'm seeing him using the whole field a lot more this month. In Friday's game against the Twins, for example, he had hits in his first three at-bats, all to right or center field. In his last at-bat he got behind 0-2, laid off a couple of teaser breaking balls to even the count, then lined out to the second baseman. He put up four quality at-bats in a row, all going to right or center field.

Maybe I'm being too optimistic, but from what I've seen the last three weeks I'm hoping the light has finally come on and LaPorta has realized he'll have more success if he doesn't try to be a right-handed Jim Thome. The main thing he has to accomplish is get better against lefties. He's hitting .202/.574 against left-handed pitching this year. I have no idea what his problem is. Maybe they're pitching him away and he's trying to pull everything. Lou Marson is hitting over .300 against lefties and he hits everything to right field or center field.

I noticed the same thing. The entire team struggled with strikeouts and hitting once Acta dumped Nunnally for Fields but LaPorta had the worst of it from what I see. Maybe Fields suddenly learned how to work with hitters but Ks are still a big problem. LaPorta is not the only one to have a late season improvement. Hannahan and Santana both got better and Chisenhall seemed to improve as well. :pleasantry:
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Re: Notice anything different with LaPorta?

Postby Lloyd Christmas » Sun Sep 25, 2011 9:07 am

Hope youre right but hes had spurts like this before
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Re: Notice anything different with LaPorta?

Postby ironmike » Sun Sep 25, 2011 3:05 pm

Yes, the difference is really noticeable. He's staying on the ball and has demonstrated real good gap power to RCF. Ending the season with confidence will also help LaPorta. LaPorta will help us in 2012. Can't give up on him.
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Re: Notice anything different with LaPorta?

Postby indianinkslinger » Sun Sep 25, 2011 7:30 pm

ironmike wrote:Yes, the difference is really noticeable. He's staying on the ball and has demonstrated real good gap power to RCF. Ending the season with confidence will also help LaPorta. LaPorta will help us in 2012. Can't give up on him.

On this we can agree iron. I am not sure he is the answer but I am far more concerned about a RH bat who can defend in the OF. With over $65M expected in payroll for next year, I am not sure that two costly players fit into the budget even if Sizemore's option is not picked up. It may come down to the number of RPs we are willing to trade and I would not like to see more than two new faces in addition to the Durbin cut. :pleasantry:
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Re: Notice anything different with LaPorta?

Postby GeronimoSon » Sun Sep 25, 2011 8:11 pm

When Matt LaPorta is trying to really hit a ball.. thats' when his left shoulder flies open and his swing becomes unbalanced.. Since his recall from the Minors (btw.. he attended to the birth of his next kid.. so he really didn't spend a lot of time working on his hitting during the ten days in Shangri-lumbus).. he has remained balanced at the plate.. A few times you could see the "swing for the fence" off balance POS wave.. but, that's really been the difference.. Odd.. you swing on balance, your head remains still.. you see the ball better.. your hand eye coordination takes over and you become a dangerous hitter.. who woulda thunk it?..
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Re: Notice anything different with LaPorta?

Postby Prosecutor » Mon Sep 26, 2011 3:26 pm

indianinkslinger wrote:I noticed the same thing. The entire team struggled with strikeouts and hitting once Acta dumped Nunnally for Fields but LaPorta had the worst of it from what I see. Maybe Fields suddenly learned how to work with hitters but Ks are still a big problem. LaPorta is not the only one to have a late season improvement. Hannahan and Santana both got better and Chisenhall seemed to improve as well. :pleasantry:


Shelley Duncan has 7 HRs and 24 RBI in only 109 ABs since the All-Star break. From the PD:

Where mechanics are concerned, the 6-5 Duncan credits hitting coach Bruce Fields for making sure the backside stays firm and the head still.

"Bruce has helped make my swing short and consistent," Duncan said.


I agree - Duncan, Hannahan, LaPorta and Santana are all hitting better the last couple of months. Maybe Fields has something to do with it.
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