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Matt LaPorta (Jed Jacobsohn/Getty)


Biographical Data
Player Name:Matt LaPorta
Position:First base
School:University of Florida
School Type:Four-Year College
Academic Class:Senior
Birthdate:01/08/85
Height:6'1"
Weight:215 lbs.
Bats:Right
Throws:Right
Report Date(s):04/14/07
Game(s):Arkansas

Focus Area
Comments
Hitting Ability:Simply put, LaPorta can flat out hit. Period. After a subpar junior year because of injury, he's back raking again at Florida with outstanding plate discpline to boot.
Power:LaPorta has as much power as any bat, especially from the college ranks, in this draft class. He's got power to all fields and can hit the ball out of any ballpark with any kind of bat.
Running Speed:He's not a runner as a former catcher, but that's not what people will want from him as a pro.
Arm Strength:As a former catcher, he's got decent arm strength for a first baseman.
Fielding:He may never win a gold glove, but he's been OK at first defensively this year.
Physical Description:LaPorta is a big, strong left-handed power-hitting first baseman.
Medical Update:He spent nearly all of his junior season struggling with an oblique injury, but he's clearly healthy now.
Strengths:He can hit and hit with plenty of power.
Weaknesses:Unless someone thinks he can play another position -- not a common belief -- LaPorta is limited to first base or DH duties in the future.
Summary:LaPorta has quickly erased a forgettable injury-riddled junior season with a monster senior campaign. With nothing to lose and healthy, he appears to be relaxed and enjoying the game again. It seems that his decision not to sign with the Red Sox after being drafted in the 14th round a year ago will be a good one for him.