Matt LaPorta will return to the majors as a full-time player now that the Indians have traded Russell Branyan to Seattle. LaPorta struggled to find consistency at the plate in his first stint with the big league club this season. Since getting demoted in early June, however, he's hit .353 with a .632 SLG in Triple-A.
Fantasy Impact: LaPorta's career minor league numbers (.296 AVG, .388 OBP, .563 SLG) point to an ability to impact the game at a high level. Through 87 MLB games the production hasn't been there. What to do with LaPorta? It's a more clear-cut situation now in Cleveland with Branyan out of the way at first base. LaPorta owns a singular starting position at first base, and he'll be given every opportunity to play regularly for a poor Indians team. That can mean significant payoff in fantasy ball. LaPorta is an intelligent addition for teams looking for an impact bat in the second half. He may run through streaks of both good and bad, but his minor league numbers represent a positive background for a relatively green major leaguer. Add LaPorta, stash him on your bench and hope the breakthrough is coming shortly.
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