Three years after the Indians acquired him as the marquee name in the package of prospects they got from Milwaukee in the CC Sabathia trade, first baseman Matt LaPorta is still trying to establish himself at the major league level. LaPorta took another step in the right direction Monday night.
LaPorta equaled his career high with four hits, helping to lead the Indians to a 19-1 win over Kansas City. He had four of the Indians' 20 hits and four of team's 19 RBI.
It was expected that LaPorta would eventually become a middle-of-the-order run producer for the Indians, but so far that hasn't happened. LaPorta has hit seventh in the Indians' lineup in most games this year.
Part of the reason for that has been his inconsistency. Over the last two years, LaPorta has had short bursts of very productive games, but longer stretches of unproductive games. He hasn't shown the consistent power he was said to have at the time of the Sabathia trade, when LaPorta was considered one of the top prospects in all of minor league baseball.
His outburst Monday raised LaPorta's batting average to .274. He has four home runs and 21 RBI.
LaPorta is 26, so the clock is ticking on his potential. But he is going to get ample opportunity to make good. Barring injury, he will remain the Indians' everyday first baseman this season, by the end of which his star will either still be shining, or starting to seriously flicker.
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