Adam LaRoche - No Stranger to Second Half Baseball
Monday September 10th, 2012
For the majority of his career, first baseman Adam LaRoche has been known for his "second-half" play. Once the calendar month moves to July, LaRoche picks up his offensive production.
For Nationals fans, finally seeing a glimpse of LaRoche's post All-Star break numbers (hurt in 2011) might come as a surprise, but based on his career numbers, it's just another baseball season for the 32-year-old lefty.
Historically, Adam LaRoche has started the season with down numbers compared to your prototypical first baseman. Over 2,260 plate appearances in the first half of the year, he has a .247/.326/.442 slash line with 94 home runs and a .768 OPS. In 2012, he fell into that same range of stats, with a slight uptick in on-base percentage and slugging, finishing the first half with a .255/.340/.496 slash line.
Although he was a silent contributor to the Nats early on this season, his numbers in the second half of play may help the Nationals win the National League East division in 2012. In 56 games since the All-Star break, LaRoche is hitting .288/.346/.521 with a .867 OPS, including two games with multiple home runs. During his career, he's shown that the month of August is typically his strongest month, posting a .302/.369/.542 slash line with a .911 OPS. However, this season, LaRoche hit at a clip of .239/.302/.389 with four home runs during the month of August - one of his worst months of August since the 2008 season. Based on his .247 batting average on balls in play (BAbip) last month - some of his down numbers could be contributed to the "luck" factor.
Overall, here's how LaRoche's 2012 second half number this year for the Nationals compare to his career numbers for the second half of play.
His numbers in the second half of 2012 appear to be right in line with his overall career numbers for the same time period. Although his post All-Star BAbip this season is approximately 13-15% lower than his career number, that's not necessarily a bad thing.
Heading into next season, LaRoche and the Nationals have a $10 million team option, with a $1 million buyout. Based on this LaRoche's history and his current 2012 season, the $10 million option may be right on par (or even cheaper) than the Nats hitting the free agency market.
by kbarr888 on Tuesday September 11th @ 9:54AM
Silent Contributor?? In the first half of 2012?? I agree that LaRoche has always been a second half guy.....But I didn't realize that batting .255 w/15 HR's, 20 2B's, 53 RBI's, 39 BB.....and an OPS of .836 (in only 77 games) would be considered Silent.....some guys would LOVE to have that line. His 2011 1st half (prior to his injury) was definitely silent/typical LaRoche, but his 2012 1st half was pretty darn good. I traded him in May (with Polanco...lol) and got an excellent return for him (Ike Davis and Stephen Drew -DL), because he was very productive at that point (and has been most of this year). As a matter of fact, I totally agree with you that the Nats are going to have a tough time letting him walk.....even though they have Morse to play 1B......Rumor is that the Red Sox are interested.......AGAIN!.....LOL....Food for thought.
by natsfreak14 on Tuesday September 11th @ 11:59AM
LaRoche IS the reason why the Nats could win the division. Their lineup is so right-handed heavy, they needed a strong lefty threat in the middle of the order. Add in his Gold Glove defense and you have a team MVP right there
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