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Profiles in Worry: Matt LaPorta

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In 2007 Matt LaPorta was taken in the first round (7th pick) of the MLB draft. In 2008 he was traded from Milwaukee's organization to Cleveland as the centerpiece of the CC (no initials, remember) Sabathia trade. In 2008 he was rated by Baseball America as the #23 prospect in baseball, in 2009 he was #27. In 2012, he may start the season in AAA. 27 and holding.

In 1008 career PAs with the Indians, LaPorta has a .238/.304/.397 line as a slow 1B. But yes, he's been a 30-HR guy, lifetime. Michael Brantley, a PTBNL in the trade, and one of the 10 most obscure players in the American League, has been three times more valuable by b-rWAR. LaPorta's greatest accomplishment, to my eyes, was beating Tim Tebow to the Gator4God twitter handle (since deleted). Second place is probably, from an Indian's perspective, he nearly killed Matt Treanor.

There's no deep lesson here, no real analysis, either. I'm smart enough to know that argument by anecdote is barely argument at all. Merely, keep in mind, LaPorta was a position player prospect at 1B: just about the lowest risk prospect possible. What was his floor back in 2008? Worst case scenario, he's Billy Butler, right? Wrong.