Wednesday, July 22, 2009

The 411 on LaRoche

We asked our friends from the Pirates blog: Raise the Jolly Roger to give us a scouting report on the newly acquired Adam LaRoche. Here's the report:





Adam LaRoche: Bats L / Throws L / Age 29 / 6-3 / 203 lbs/ stats

Bat:
Until this season, Adam would routinely start off the season in a miserable slump, then turn things on in the second half so much that his numbers would make him appear like a league-average first baseman. That never helped the Pirates, though, because for the Bucs pretty much every game after Memorial Day is irrelevant. This year, although he wasn't as awful in April and May, LaRoche hasn't gotten hot yet. He's a streaky hitter with a big long, loopy swing that will drive you Red Sox fans nuts at times--and other times he makes it look remarkably easy to drive the ball out of the park. His pitch selection and approach often make no sense at all (the other day, with the Bucs down 1 in the 8th, he hit into an inning ending DP on a 3-0 pitch), but he usually still takes his fair share of walks.

Glove:
I've seen some talk today about Adam playing poor defense--ignore it. He's a very good defensive first baseman. LaRoche is certainly not fleet of foot, but he makes picks with ease, is very reliable on routine plays, and can still dazzle you with the occasional diving stop.

Other:
LaRoche can be a strange character. He rarely shows any emotion, leading some to believe he may not be hustling or may not care about the game. All accounts from within the team (obviously) are that it's false, but I figured I'd throw it out there. He does have a history with ADD for what it's worth. Oh, and he's ridiculously obsessed with hunting.

5 comments:

Paul S,  July 22, 2009 at 3:14 PM  

Great! Order those playoff tickets today. We just picked up an offensive jolt with about the same stats as Jason Varitek. That should do the trick.

I do not mind the low price tag that accompanies this move, but this team just CANNOT hit at the moment. The Yankees are winning and winning and winning, while the Sox are sucking. Move over, Mets, here we come.

Josh July 22, 2009 at 5:44 PM  

Well put sir. Enjoyed your synopsis of LaRoche, makes me feel more comfortable having him on the team. Hope you don't mind me linking to this in an article about the trade.

Paul S.,  July 22, 2009 at 7:01 PM  

Josh, thank you for the kind words, but I was probably a little too unclear in my first post. I really was trying to be sarcastic. I do not mind LaRoche as an addition, but I do not think he represents enough of an upgrade for an offense that is currently in a coma. My "Move over, Mets" comment refers to the fact that the Sox are fading fast, as are the Mets.

Anonymous,  July 23, 2009 at 3:27 AM  

I wouldnt' be surprised if Theo flipped him in the coming days.

Josh July 23, 2009 at 9:11 AM  

I know he's not the upgrade we were looking for, but the way you described LaRoche as a player is what I was referring to. You gave a very good breakdown of his abilities.

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