All about LaPorta…
While we’re waiting for what seems like the inevitable announcement that C.C. is Brewer-bound, I figured we’d get to know a little bit more about Matt LaPorta, who figures to be the key acquisition in the deal.
- LaPorta is 6-foot-2, 210 pounds and a native of Port Charlotte, Fla. He turned 23 in January.
- He was the seventh overall pick in last year’s First Year Player Draft. The Buckeye-boosting contingent will groan to hear this, but he’s a Florida alum.
- He hit a home run in his first professional at-bat with the Brewers’ rookie-ball club in Helena.
- This season, at Double-A Huntsville, he was batting .291 with 20 homers, 23 doubles and 66 RBIs. He struck out 62 times in 296 at-bats and drew 44 walks.
- He’s played 70 games in right field, seven in left, three at DH and two at first base this season. Interestingly, he’s expected to play first base for the U.S. team in next week’s Futures Game at Yankee Stadium. He played first base in college, as well.
- He was originally drafted by the Cubs as a catcher in 2003 but opted to go to Florida instead.
- Quick and dirty scouting report: Advanced bat, above-average arm, not much speed.
- He’s been compared to Lance Berkman.
- Most impressive of all, he won a BMX championship at age 7.
And if you’d like to hear from the man himself, he’s been doing periodic journal entries for MiLB.com this season. You can find his latest one here.
Adam McCalvy, MLB.com’s Brewers beat writer, told me LaPorta, Milwaukee’s top prospect, was once considered “untouchable” in trade talks. I’ve heard the same about shortstop Alicedes Escobar. If Escobar is involved in this trade (and I can’t help but doubt he is), consider it a major steal for the Indians, considering Sabathia is just a three-month rental for the Brew Crew.
Now, back to the waiting. If I hear anything more tonight, I’ll post it. Otherwise, it appears this deal could be finalized Monday, with Sabathia making his first start for the Brewers on Tuesday against the Rockies and the Indians bringing Jeff Weaver aboard to round out their big-league rotation.