On the upside of things for nervous Cleveland Cavaliers fans, if LeBron James opts to leave Ohio, at least you have your Cleveland Indians. The Indians are on pace to secure another high draft pick with their abysmal 30-47 record, best for third worst in the league.
All kidding aside, there is upside for the lowly Indians and it begins with forgotten prospect, Matt Laporta (CLE-1B/OF). After banishment to Triple-A Columbus due to a miserable start to the season, LaPorta tore pitching up during his time there, blasting five homers and driving in 16 RBIs in only 18 games there. It appears as if his success down under is carrying over to the bigs as LaPorta has gone 5/14 since being recalled with three homers, including one off of Toronto ace, Shaun Marcum.
If you may recall, LaPorta was the highly touted prospect centerpiece the Brewers surrendered for their summer rental of C.C. Sabathia in 2008. Now that power hitting Russell Branyan has been shipped to Seattle earlier this week, the door is open for LaPorta to showcase the immense talent that made him worthy of that 2008 trade. The upside is there and the ability is certainly not lacking for LaPorta and he’s beginning to show signs of improvement evidenced by his recent success and annihilation of Triple-A pitching. Owned in only 4% in Yahoo! Leagues, his wide availability makes him a low-risk, high reward play in deeper formats. LIP’s Final Line: .257 AVG, 21 HR, 72 RBI, 80 R, 3 SB