In 2010 Matt LaPorta looked more and more like a bust every day, and his .239 BA through 15 games this season isn’t exactly doing a lot to change that.
However, there is one stat that could serve as an encouraging sign.
LaPorta appears to be more patient at the plate this season, which is certainly what you want to see from a potential middle-of-the-order hitter. His OBP of .345 this season is 35 points higher than his career average. And a part of the reason for that may be his ability to fight back once he falls behind in the count.
LaPorta has seen a first-pitch strike 19 times this season. In those plate appearances he has as many strikeouts as hits (four apiece). However, he also has drawn three walks – good for a .368 OBP after a 0-1 count. In 2010, LaPorta had just a .255 OBP after falling behind 0-1.
Clearly it’s a small sample size, but I’ll take what I can get from LaPorta. Any sign of life is a good thing.