Like Grady Sizemore before him, LaPorta was acquired by the Cleveland Indians as a departing ace pitcher. The team shipped off future Hall of Famer C.C. Sabathia in 2008, for a deal built around LaPorta as the key piece. He came over with Zach Jackson, Rob Bryson, and some kid named Michael Brantley. LaPorta was seen as a year or two away from the big’s and the team was very high on his potential.
During his time with the big club in 2010, LaPorta only hit .221, with 12 home runs and 41 RBIs. A considerable disappointment due to him being 25 already and still not ready for the majors. Not to mention what was given up in order to acquire him.
2011 wouldn’t be any kinder to LaPorta, where he played the same number of games, save for three, and had inconsistent results. Sure, his average and RBIs went up to .241, and 53 respectively but his power numbers stayed flat. Solid improvement but he’s now 26 and his home run power, one of his highlight perks, was almost nowhere to be seen.
He would struggle to make much of an impact in 2012, losing playing time to Shelly Duncan, Johny Damon, and Casey Kotchman, resulting in LaPorta spending most of his time in Triple-A, with the Columbus Clippers. In what would be his final nail during his time with the Tribe, LaPorta only put up a .264 average with, 19 home runs, and 62 RBIs against AAA talent. At 27 years old, LaPorta should’ve had much more impressive numbers against supposedly inferior talent.
After that season LaPorta would never again crack a big league’s roster.