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Saturday, November 22, 2014

2015 FANTASY BASEBALL PLAYER ANALYZER: ADAM LaROCHE 1B CHICAGO WHITE SOX

                                          Adam LaRoche

Another semi-big name came off the board Friday as the Hot Stove Season continues to gather steam leading up to the second Winter Meetings after Thanksgiving.  The Chicago White Sox inked 1B Adam LaRoche (formerly of the Washington Nationals) to a two-year deal worth $25 million.  With Jose Abreu serving as the everyday first baseman, LaRoche is preparing for DH duty almost exclusively this season.  With that said, let's dig in and find out what LaRoche could supply his fantasy baseball owners for the upcoming season.

When it comes to Adam LaRoche, the collective response when mentioning his name during his career has been one big yawn.  For some reason, certain players are considered "boring" or fail to move the fantasy baseball interest needle and LaRoche absolutely is one of those guys.  This despite the fact LaRoche has generally been one of the more consistent players in the game during his career with 8 seasons of 20-plus home run output.  The overall picture year is solid but not flashy as most of LaRoche's value is tied to his home runs and RBI.  LaRoche has hit as many as 33 home runs as recently as 2012 with the Nationals, which is doubly impressive since it came in a prime pitching park.  LaRoche has also collected 100 RBI twice since 2010 and his power bat is good enough to serve as an everyday fantasy baseball first baseman.  The fact he moves from a prpime pitching park to a very good power park in Chicago could add to his home run/RBI totals as well.  Overall though LaRoche looks like a low-end first baseman however as he is mediocre in the other three categories.  LaRoche is only a career .264 hitter and his runs total struggles to go past 70 due to very poor speed.  Also you can forget any stolen bases either as LaRoche is a station-to-station runner.  Thus you get two good category contributions and not much else here which means even though LaRoche COULD work as your everyday first baseman due to the pop, you ideally want to use him as your UTIL or CI option. 

As far as the intangibles are concerned, LaRoche has been a pronounced firs half dud/second half star over the course of his career which is well-known for those who are fantasy baseball veterans.  Consider that LaRoche is only a .251 career hitter the first of the season, which goes up to .281 the second half.  In addition, LaRoche has struggled badly against lefties in his career with a .241 career mark, compared to .272 against righties.  Thus if a lefty is scheduled to be on the mound, you might want to sit LaRoche for that game. 

Overall the story remains the same here for LaRoche when looking at 2015 fantasy baseball.  The guy is a good veteran power hitter who can surely be a help again despite getting somewhat up there in age at 35.  As long as LaRoche is a supplementary guy on your club, he will turn a profit for you.

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