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How much time do we give Laporta?

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How much time do we give Laporta?

Postby indians1 » Sun Jun 19, 2011 6:55 pm

i know he is injured right now and santana is still not where he needs to be, but at least santana has some plate discipline.

Laporta will be given every opportunity to succeed here, but if he continues to have such a low average and low OBP with the K's, at what point do we move santana to 1B and see what marson can do as the catcher?

Laporta is in his 3rd season in the majors, and he doesn't seem to be getting better. I know last year was a struggle because of the hip surgeries, and this year he has shown a bit more power, but his plate disicpline is horrible and he has been a defensive liability.

Laporta will be 27 next year. I thought going into this year, it was a make or break year for him. he may buy himself some more time but if marson is a better solution at catcher and santana can stay fresh at 1B, i am all for that. I do think marson is going to get more playing time with the way carrasco has pitched with marson as the signal caller. I think marson may start getting playing time with at least two of the pitchers even when laporta comes back unless laporta gets it going.

I think with Laporta, he has to get his average to .270 and and OPS of at least .800 to be worth anything.
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Re: How much time do we give Laporta?

Postby entertheshoe » Sun Jun 19, 2011 7:53 pm

Why is everyone so determined to shake up the roster and give up on players before it's necessary? Do we get bonus points for being first off the bandwagon?

If there were a better option than Matt LaPorta then by all means go with it. Problem is there isn't. Marson is as bad with his bat as he is good with his glove. LaPorta needs work but I really see no less hope in him than I saw in Brandon Phillips before we shipped him off to Cinci for a stick of gum.
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Re: How much time do we give Laporta?

Postby indians1 » Sun Jun 19, 2011 8:43 pm

i am not jumping off the bandwagon. I didn't start blaming management when things starting going south the last few weeks. I thought there would be a course correction.

My point is that if we are going to compete for a division, we need guys like laporta to start hitting. he is in his 3rd season up in the majors and we should start seeing some results.

I am amazed how if any prospect or player is criticized that somehow we are being disloyal or "jumping off the bandwagon"..

Brandon phillips was given one 1/2 a season by the indians and was never given another chance to prove he could be a productive player. Laporta is in his 3rd season at the major league level and needs to start producing.

If he puts up a 3rd consecutive year with an OBP with around .310, then there should be concern because he was the centerpiece of the CC trade.
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Re: How much time do we give Laporta?

Postby Prosecutor » Sun Jun 19, 2011 9:21 pm

I'm definitely concerned about LaPorta. He has 755 major league at-bats with a career average of .234 and career OPS of .704, nowhere near good enough for a corner infielder. And he's 26 years old. He's starting to look like the first base equivalent of Andy Marte.

What's really discouraging is his numbers have been declining over the last three years. His OPS...

2009 .818
2010 .701
2011 .641

2009 was his first taste of the big leagues. Last year he was coming off two surgeries and missed spring training. This was supposed to be the year he arrived. Still waiting.

To make it worse, he's hitting .182 against lefties. The Tribe needs players who can punish lefties since the bulk of the batting order hits left-handed. LaPorta has a dramatic reverse split, which is not what the Indians need.

Speaking of splits, Marson has about as huge a split this year as I've ever seen. He's hitting .400/1.048 against lefties and .152/.340 against righties. Those numbers won't hold up over a full season, but there's no doubt he hits lefties much, much better.

So I propose having Marson catch and Santana play first against lefties while LaPorta plays first against right-handers while Santana catches. I know we want LaPorta to be an every day player to justify the Sabathia trade and because we need a power bat from the right side after Marte didn't pan out. But he's hitting a buck eigthy-two against lefties. How long can we put up with that?
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Re: How much time do we give Laporta?

Postby GhostofTedCox » Sun Jun 19, 2011 9:40 pm

Laporta is not the problem on this team. Nobody was counting on him for much, and he was still on pace for 20 HR and around 80 RBI. That's better than my expectations for him. Sorry he's not all-star quality in his first full ML season. He's doing better than Santana - maybe we should bail on him too. I won't even bring up Choo.
As was mentioned earlier, we don't have anybody better at the present time anyway. Nick Johnson is no where near ready, and he may never be the same.

So relax. Laporta is on the DL for now, and the Indians are in first place.
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Re: How much time do we give Laporta?

Postby indianinkslinger » Sun Jun 19, 2011 10:02 pm

GhostofTedCox wrote:Laporta is not the problem on this team. Nobody was counting on him for much, and he was still on pace for 20 HR and around 80 RBI. That's better than my expectations for him. Sorry he's not all-star quality in his first full ML season. He's doing better than Santana - maybe we should bail on him too. I won't even bring up Choo.
As was mentioned earlier, we don't have anybody better at the present time anyway. Nick Johnson is no where near ready, and he may never be the same.

So relax. Laporta is on the DL for now, and the Indians are in first place.

+1 Ghost. Wasn't prosecutor on of the posters throwing Cord Phelps under the bus earlier today. One game does not a season make but immediate gratification seems to be the goal of many. Doesn't work that way in my experience with baseball at the ML level but everyone can have an opinion. :pleasantry:
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Re: How much time do we give Laporta?

Postby GeronimoSon » Sun Jun 19, 2011 10:09 pm

indians1 wrote:i know he is injured right now and santana is still not where he needs to be, but at least santana has some plate discipline.

Laporta will be given every opportunity to succeed here, but if he continues to have such a low average and low OBP with the K's, at what point do we move santana to 1B and see what marson can do as the catcher?

Laporta is in his 3rd season in the majors, and he doesn't seem to be getting better. I know last year was a struggle because of the hip surgeries, and this year he has shown a bit more power, but his plate disicpline is horrible and he has been a defensive liability.

Laporta will be 27 next year. I thought going into this year, it was a make or break year for him. he may buy himself some more time but if marson is a better solution at catcher and santana can stay fresh at 1B, i am all for that. I do think marson is going to get more playing time with the way carrasco has pitched with marson as the signal caller. I think marson may start getting playing time with at least two of the pitchers even when laporta comes back unless laporta gets it going.

I think with Laporta, he has to get his average to .270 and and OPS of at least .800 to be worth anything.
This question has a very simple answer.. A LONG TIME.. ALL of the 2011 SEASON.. and maybe into NEXT SEASON TOO !!. This is because he IS getting better.. and he does have a load of talent..
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Re: How much time do we give Laporta?

Postby TonyIBI » Mon Jun 20, 2011 9:51 am

I know players rub everyone the wrong way, but considering the lineup's performance this year, I am okay with LaPorta's numbers to date and not giving up on him. Talk to me at the end of next season. I think we have seen glimpses of what he could be, and while he has been very inconsistent of late and a nightmare defensively, I am quite satisfied with a RH bat in the lineup on pace for 20 homers and 70-80 RBI hitting in the bottom third of the order. Is his AVG and OPS up to par for the top prospect in the CC deal? No way. But taking CC and also LaPorta's prospect value out of the mix, I'm okay with it for now.
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Re: How much time do we give Laporta?

Postby Prosecutor » Mon Jun 20, 2011 10:20 am

I'm not throwing LaPorta under the bus just yet, but anybody who's not concerned about a 26-year-old 1st baseman sporting a .234/.704 career line after 755 at-bats is whistling past the graveyard.

Last year we gave him a pass because he was coming off two surgeries and the claim was that he was never 100% healthy. This year he was able to train in the off-season and participate fully in spring training, so the expectation was that we would get to see what he can really do. Unfortunately, and very surprisingly, his numbers are even worse than last year's.

Fortunately for LaPorta we have nobody else who can play first except Santana, and we need him to catch, at least until Lou Marson can prove he can hit a little. But if Nick Johnson starts hitting in Columbus and LaPorta continues to struggle after coming back from the ankle sprain, the Indians will give Johnson a shot. Especially if they're still in contention.

As the marquee player in the Sabathia deal the Indians want LaPorta to succeed. He'll get every chance, just like Marte did after they gave up Coco to get him. We hung onto the hope that Marte would bust out next year for too long. LaPorta has more power than Marte, but until he learns to take the breaking ball low and away to right field pitchers are going to eat him up.
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Re: How much time do we give Laporta?

Postby TonyIBI » Mon Jun 20, 2011 2:07 pm

Prosecutor wrote:What's really discouraging is his numbers have been declining over the last three years. His OPS...

2009 .818
2010 .701
2011 .641


Where did you get that 2011 number? His 2011 OPS is actually .733 which is not great but a ton better than .641 as listed. Also shows some improvement. His OPS by season is actually:

2009: .750
2010: .668
2011: .733

Not great, but actually pretty solid. If he were not a part of the Sabathia trade and just a guy coming up from the system people would say he is doing okay/solid. I think we have to move past the Sabathia thing and understand he will never be the elite hitter once thought and just look at his performance on his own merits going forward.

I'm actually satisfied with what LaPorta has shown this year. Satisfied in the sense that he hasn't been great or terrible, but adequate. Would love to see more, but willing to be patient and see the baby steps being taken. He has shown some good defense at 1B, just still grasping the mental part, and I think that carries over to his offense sometimes. I don't think he will ever be a big producer, but think a .250 hitter with 20 homers and 75-80 RBI a year with a .750-.800 OPS is certainly possible and I can accept that.
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Re: How much time do we give Laporta?

Postby dazindiansfanuk » Mon Jun 20, 2011 2:18 pm

TonyIPI wrote: Satisfied in the sense that he hasn't been great or terrible, but adequate.


My main problem with LaPorta is that, whilst his overall numbers are adequate, his problem has been that he has actually been both terrible and great, sometimes flipping from one to the other in the space of just one swing.

It's so damn frustrating!
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Re: How much time do we give Laporta?

Postby indianinkslinger » Mon Jun 20, 2011 2:39 pm

I am not sure we have a lot of choices to consider although we could trade for Pujols. Nick Johnson really only interests me if he is a healthy reasonable facsimile of his former self. If not, why consider him? Are we going to replace him with Jared Goedert on a regular basis? Maybe we could promote Jesus Aguilar from LC? It shows how bad we are at 1B organizationally that we replaced LaPorta with Travis Buck. Think about it, Jhonny finally learned to hit the breaking ball away. It may take awhile for LaPorta to catch on but let's hope he will.
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Re: How much time do we give Laporta?

Postby Lloyd Christmas » Mon Jun 20, 2011 2:42 pm

Not great, but actually pretty solid. If he were not a part of the Sabathia trade and just a guy coming up from the system people would say he is doing okay/solid. I think we have to move past the Sabathia thing and understand he will never be the elite hitter once thought and just look at his performance on his own merits going forward.


Completely disagree. The only reason some people get so defensive when he is criticized is because he was in the Sabathia deal.

2011: .733

Not great, but actually pretty solid.


Come on. You actually wrote that a 733 OPS from a 1B is "solid." Talk about defending a guy til the bitter end. His OBP is 10 pts higher than Austin Kearns.
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Re: How much time do we give Laporta?

Postby TonyIBI » Mon Jun 20, 2011 3:00 pm

Lloyd Christmas wrote:Come on. You actually wrote that a 733 OPS from a 1B is "solid." Talk about defending a guy til the bitter end. His OBP is 10 pts higher than Austin Kearns.


I think the performance to date is solid. Is a guy who hits .250 with 20 HR and 70-80 RBI with a .750-.800 OPS that bad? While it may be average or subpar for 1B, our options are limited, and I think with a lineup needing RH bats it is acceptable. Especially with how much offense has plummeted around the game.

I'm displeased that LaPorta has not and will not achieve what we thought he would in the Sabathia deal, but I see a Sorrento-type of guy at 1B who is passable until a better option comes along.
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Re: How much time do we give Laporta?

Postby Pork Chop Pough » Mon Jun 20, 2011 3:28 pm

Not to instigate things, but just so everyone is aware of the stat line we're working with, here's the average slash line for an AL first baseman this season: .269/.349/.448 = .797

LaPorta as a right-handed Paul Sorrento seems realistic. The problem is that Sorrento could always bat low in the lineup because those teams had All-Star level production from the bats ahead of him. It's also harder to put up with a placeholder type performance when it comes at the shallowest position in the system. With no obvious challenger on the horizon, I wonder what the chances are of Nick Weglarz or Chun Chen starting at first base in Columbus next season (although Chen doesn't have the ideal first baseman's body).
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Re: How much time do we give Laporta?

Postby Prosecutor » Mon Jun 20, 2011 4:25 pm

TonyIPI wrote:Where did you get that 2011 number? His 2011 OPS is actually .733 which is not great but a ton better than .641 as listed. Also shows some improvement. His OPS by season is actually:

2009: .750
2010: .668
2011: .733

I don't think he will ever be a big producer, but think a .250 hitter with 20 homers and 75-80 RBI a year with a .750-.800 OPS is certainly possible and I can accept that.


Oops, my bad. Sorry, I must have pulled up somebody else's numbers by mistake. Thanks for correcting that. Still say his 2011 number should be higher than his 2009 number and hopefully it will be by October.

LaPorta is hitting .182 against lefties, .216 with runners on base, and .154 with RISP and two out. Those are not numbers I can accept.

I think the Paul Sorrento comparison is a good one, but you don't win pennants with Paul Sorrento unless you also have Thome, Ramirez, Belle, Lofton and Baerga in their primes.

How much time do we give LaPorta? Easy - until somebody better comes along. Or until he can improve on those awful numbers against lefties and with RISP and two out. I really believe the key for him is learning to either lay off that slider down and away or slap it into right field. Any right-hander who can throw that pitch consistently just toys with LaPorta. I have no idea why he is so abysmal against lefties, but what good is he late in a game with runners on if the opposing manager can just bring in a lefty to put him away?
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Re: How much time do we give Laporta?

Postby Hermie13 » Mon Jun 20, 2011 5:52 pm

Prosecutor wrote:Oops, my bad. Sorry, I must have pulled up somebody else's numbers by mistake. Thanks for correcting that. Still say his 2011 number should be higher than his 2009 number and hopefully it will be by October.

LaPorta is hitting .182 against lefties, .216 with runners on base, and .154 with RISP and two out. Those are not numbers I can accept.

I think the Paul Sorrento comparison is a good one, but you don't win pennants with Paul Sorrento unless you also have Thome, Ramirez, Belle, Lofton and Baerga in their primes.

How much time do we give LaPorta? Easy - until somebody better comes along. Or until he can improve on those awful numbers against lefties and with RISP and two out. I really believe the key for him is learning to either lay off that slider down and away or slap it into right field. Any right-hander who can throw that pitch consistently just toys with LaPorta. I have no idea why he is so abysmal against lefties, but what good is he late in a game with runners on if the opposing manager can just bring in a lefty to put him away?


Gonna be nitpicky here, but we did not have Sorrento when Thome and Ramirez were in their primes.

And in this day and age (ie, non-steriod era), you can win with a 20 HR, .800 OPS guy at 1B. I agree with Tony, I take those numbers. He definitely still has some work to do though. Has sown the ability to be that kind of hitter...then the next week he's back in a funk.
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Re: How much time do we give Laporta?

Postby Hermie13 » Mon Jun 20, 2011 5:53 pm

dazindiansfanuk wrote:
TonyIPI wrote: Satisfied in the sense that he hasn't been great or terrible, but adequate.


My main problem with LaPorta is that, whilst his overall numbers are adequate, his problem has been that he has actually been both terrible and great, sometimes flipping from one to the other in the space of just one swing.

It's so damn frustrating!


Agree....and wonder if his inconsistencies from week to week may have been a strong factor too in Nunnally's dismissal? :dunno:
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Re: How much time do we give Laporta?

Postby Lloyd Christmas » Mon Jun 20, 2011 6:03 pm

Code: Select all
I think the performance to date is solid. Is a guy who hits .250 with 20 HR and 70-80 RBI with a .750-.800 OPS that bad? While it may be average or subpar for 1B, our options are limited, and I think with a lineup needing RH bats it is acceptable. Especially with how much offense has plummeted around the game.


Yes if he ends up with those #s at the end of this year I would take it. But I dont think you can have an everyday 1B with an OBP under 310, which he is on pace to do again.
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Re: How much time do we give Laporta?

Postby Bearcatbob » Mon Jun 20, 2011 9:08 pm

The real question is how much time we give Carmona in a year we are trying to contend?
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Re: How much time do we give Laporta?

Postby Chip Davis » Mon Jun 20, 2011 11:26 pm

I don't think LaPorta's problem is his lack of ability, on the contrary I think he is gifted in certain ways. His problem is staying healthy for a long enough period to become consistant. Another part of the problem is the lack of overall production in the lineup. Without Hafner and Sizemore in the lineup and Choo and Santana not hitting it put alot of the pitcher's focus on LaPorta's power potential. They exploited his inability to hit a breaking ball and just when it seemed he was starting to adjust he lands on the DL. The guy has crazy power to all fields when he squares the ball up. Patience is my vote.
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Re: How much time do we give Laporta?

Postby GeronimoSon » Tue Jun 21, 2011 9:04 am

Chip Davis wrote:I don't think LaPorta's problem is his lack of ability, on the contrary I think he is gifted in certain ways. His problem is staying healthy for a long enough period to become consistant. Another part of the problem is the lack of overall production in the lineup. Without Hafner and Sizemore in the lineup and Choo and Santana not hitting it put alot of the pitcher's focus on LaPorta's power potential. They exploited his inability to hit a breaking ball and just when it seemed he was starting to adjust he lands on the DL. The guy has crazy power to all fields when he squares the ball up. Patience is my vote.
+1
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Re: How much time do we give Laporta?

Postby Prosecutor » Tue Jun 21, 2011 9:27 am

And in this day and age (ie, non-steriod era), you can win with a 20 HR, .800 OPS guy at 1B. I agree with Tony, I take those numbers.


So will I. He's on pace for the 20 HRs, but where's the .800 OPS? Any player who is average defensively and slow on the basepaths he needs to be above average at the plate for his position and I'm not seeing it - yet.

LaPorta, IMO, is a mistake hitter. He punishes mistakes but gets eaten up by the slider down and away. If he can learn to recognize and lay off that pitch or at least foul it off or slap it into right field, he'll be fine. That and figuring out how to break the Mendoza line against lefties. That's not as big a problem because we can always bench him against lefties and move Santana to first and have Marson catch. Those moves improve the defense at both positions and also the offense because Marson is hitting lefties extremely well.
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Re: How much time do we give Laporta?

Postby Chip Davis » Tue Jun 21, 2011 11:08 am

I disagree that that Santana is better at 1B than LaPorta. I think it is the other way around. His defensive improvement has been a pleasant surprise IMO.
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Re: How much time do we give Laporta?

Postby Edible14 » Tue Jun 21, 2011 12:13 pm

Chip Davis wrote:I disagree that that Santana is better at 1B than LaPorta. I think it is the other way around. His defensive improvement has been a pleasant surprise IMO.


Agreed. Santana has gotten better as the year has progressed, but LaPorta really doesn't get enough credit for how good he's been defensively this year. Early in the year, Santana's footwork was a nightmare and even though it's improved, LaPorta is still really solid in this aspect. That's the sort of thing that you don't really notice unless it's done poorly.
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Re: How much time do we give Laporta?

Postby Hermie13 » Tue Jun 21, 2011 12:22 pm

Prosecutor wrote:
And in this day and age (ie, non-steriod era), you can win with a 20 HR, .800 OPS guy at 1B. I agree with Tony, I take those numbers.


So will I. He's on pace for the 20 HRs, but where's the .800 OPS? Any player who is average defensively and slow on the basepaths he needs to be above average at the plate for his position and I'm not seeing it - yet.

LaPorta, IMO, is a mistake hitter. He punishes mistakes but gets eaten up by the slider down and away. If he can learn to recognize and lay off that pitch or at least foul it off or slap it into right field, he'll be fine. That and figuring out how to break the Mendoza line against lefties. That's not as big a problem because we can always bench him against lefties and move Santana to first and have Marson catch. Those moves improve the defense at both positions and also the offense because Marson is hitting lefties extremely well.


Like we said, he still has some improving to do. IMO he just needs to show improvement this year. 2012 was/is his "judgement day" of sorts. We've seen clear improvements in LaPorta's approach this year. He still (as you said) swings at some pitches that make you bash your head against the wall. I liken him a bit to Alex Gordon. Both were top 10 picks, both rushed too soon, and both bounced around between too many positions. Gordon finally got settled at a spot last year and showed improvement. Royals stuck with him and took off this year. LaPorta is a different hitter but similar situations. I give him another year to get that OPS up (and an .800 OPS was a ballpark number).
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Re: How much time do we give Laporta?

Postby Hermie13 » Tue Jun 21, 2011 12:24 pm

Edible14 wrote:
Chip Davis wrote:I disagree that that Santana is better at 1B than LaPorta. I think it is the other way around. His defensive improvement has been a pleasant surprise IMO.


Agreed. Santana has gotten better as the year has progressed, but LaPorta really doesn't get enough credit for how good he's been defensively this year. Early in the year, Santana's footwork was a nightmare and even though it's improved, LaPorta is still really solid in this aspect. That's the sort of thing that you don't really notice unless it's done poorly.


Seems they do different things well at 1B to me. LaPorta looks much more comfortable around the bag, better footwork there, and he's been pretty solid with balls thrown in the dirt (saved AC too many errors to count).

Santana though has better range on grounders towards 1st. Makes sense as he's a former 3B.

Now if we could combine the two..... :drinks:
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Re: How much time do we give Laporta?

Postby Chip Davis » Tue Jun 21, 2011 3:34 pm

Hermie13 wrote:.
Now if we could combine the two..... :drinks:[/quote]

Something like the Cheezit commercials? I'm pulling for both of them because if they both get it going like they are capable of it adds alot of "kick" into the lineup.

I have to say I have 'metamorphisized"as an Indian's fan over the last few years. I certainly find enjoyment in following and rooting for the young kids coming through the system. Doesn't matter if they were drafted, traded for, or picked in the rule V, I would much rather give an up and comer the opportunity to prove himself then sign an aging veteran for leadership qualities and the big time free agent seems like the easy road. Maybe it's because I don't have a choice if I want to be an Indians fan. My point to all this ranting is it causes me to be more patient with guys like LaPorta who are capable of blossoming and less patient with guys like OCab. Right or wrong it's the truth.
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Re: How much time do we give Laporta?

Postby GeronimoSon » Tue Jun 21, 2011 3:50 pm

Hermie13 wrote:
Edible14 wrote:
Chip Davis wrote:I disagree that that Santana is better at 1B than LaPorta. I think it is the other way around. His defensive improvement has been a pleasant surprise IMO.


Agreed. Santana has gotten better as the year has progressed, but LaPorta really doesn't get enough credit for how good he's been defensively this year. Early in the year, Santana's footwork was a nightmare and even though it's improved, LaPorta is still really solid in this aspect. That's the sort of thing that you don't really notice unless it's done poorly.


Seems they do different things well at 1B to me. LaPorta looks much more comfortable around the bag, better footwork there, and he's been pretty solid with balls thrown in the dirt (saved AC too many errors to count).

Santana though has better range on grounders towards 1st. Makes sense as he's a former 3B.

Now if we could combine the two..... :drinks:
Have you watched Asdrubal play?
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