Many of you have your fantasy draft or auction coming up and you may be scrambling for a late round bat to fill out your roster. Might I suggest post hype sleeper Matt Laporta. A disappointing 2010 scared off a few fantasy owners making this the perfect time to grab him. He has the upside you look for in the late rounds and a track record that suggests he is better than what we have seen so far.
More on Laporta after the jump...
Matt Laporta, one of the key pieces in the CC Sabathia to the Brewers trade, has failed to live up to his minor league hype. In 4 minor league seasons he has slugged .563 with a .953 OPS. In the majors those numbers shrink to .388 and .694. It's easy to see why he has fallen off many owners' radars. A closer look at his stats, however, reveal a player who may be on the verge of a breakout. In only 557 major league at bats he has hit 19 HR so it's reasonable to say over a full season he should be able to hit 20+ HR. He is also in possession of an above average eye for a power hitter his age and has struck out 21.4% of his times at the plate in the bigs. Not great numbers but respectable for a player who has struggled as much as he has. Many young hitters with poor luck on balls in play will often press and see their K% rise.
If he gets better luck on balls in play he has the contact rate to be a .265+ AVG hitter.He will have to hit more line drives if he wants to bring his AVG beyond that point but he has proven in the past that he can do better than the measly 12.5% he put up last year.
His spot on the Indians roster is safe and it wouldn't be hard for him to work his way into a run producing spot in the lineup. At the very least you should be able to count on 500+ at bats out of him which should produce a minimum of .250 AVG 18 HR 65 RBI. That's the low estimation and he could give you as much as 25+ HR .270 AVG and 80+ RBI. The job security means he won't sink your team by getting demoted two weeks into the season and he should be given every opportunity to succeed this year.
Don't let a miserable sophmore season turn you off of one of the better late round bets.