Mandatory Credit: Joy R. Absalon-USA TODAY Sports
Name: Adam LaRoche
2012 for Adam LaRoche, as I have stated multiple times in the past week, was one of the best seasons of his career. Did we all expect that to transfer over to 2013? Sure, you could say that. Why not? Maybe he hit his prime a little bit later than some players and was coming into his own in D.C. His 2012, was great. .343 OBP, 35 doubles, over 30 homers, and 100 RBI. That is a career year for most players. So 2013 shouldn’t be any different. I didn’t expect him to have that great of season again, but something relatively close, would be good. Some relatively close to that gets the Nats to the playoffs and possibly a World Series Championship.
A .340 OBP and 55 extra base hits would have been great for 2013. That puts the Nats in position to win a lot of games. Don’t really need too many homers, with Desmond coming into his own as well at a relatively young age. Put him in the five hole and just let him hit doubles and drive in runs. That wasn’t too much to ask was it?
Well, apparently that was too much to ask, because LaRoche folded under pressure. His 2013 season, was an utter disaster, and really hurt the Nats. He hit just .237 with a .332 OBP. That is not what you want to see from a first basemen. You want a first basemen that can drive in runs. A player that can get on base for guys behind him. Well, LaRoche did neither of those things. LaRoche barely got to 120 hits on the season. Those 121 hits ranked 8th among first basemen, while LaRoche had the 6th most at bats.
Strikeouts have always been a bit of an issue for LaRoche and that didn’t change as he had 131 of them. The good thing about his 2013 season was he walked 72 times, the most in his career. Those walks help his OBP, which was still terrible. When you are getting paid $10 million for this type of season, the organization can’t feel good about your future. What is LaRoche’s future with the Nats?
2014 is a bit up in the air at the moment for LaRoche. He is owed $12 million and after the season he just had, who wants to pay him that? Well, the Nationals will most likely being doing so. As I wrote yesterday, I don’t believe LaRoche is the answer in the long run. Then yesterday Jon Morosi tweeted that LaRoche is getting looks from some American League clubs.
So for 2014, I see LaRoche as a National, because they don’t have anyone to replace him with. The best option is Tyler Moore, but let’s be real, he’s Tyler Moore. If he is getting major innings in 2014, the Nats’ are again in serious trouble.
LaRoche will have to re-prove himself to Nats’ fans and the Nats’ front office. His 2013 season is fresh in their mind and he will need to change that. Having a big first half could do just that, but I would like it a whole lot more if it was a full season. The Nats’ success has something to do with LaRoche’s success. So let’s all hope he figures it out this offseason and comes out with something to prove in 2014.