Adam LaRoche is currently considered by many to be the Nationals’ leading candidate for the first base position. You probably already know that he’s a decent fielder and that he’s a lefty – those are things that have been widely publicized during this offseason. But LaRoche is famous in the fantasy baseball world for something else – the amazing difference between his first half performances and those in his second half.
It’s not just an illusion for fantasy baseball players who remember a year or two. Sometimes in these cases, a guy will be at the peak of his value – like LaRoche around the 2006-2008 timeframe – and we see them do something like start off poorly and finish strong. From that reference point everybody remembers, they assume he always plays like that, when in fact it was just in those 2 or 3 seasons people were paying attention. But not with LaRoche. In his career he’s hit .252/.327/.449 in the first half of the season, and .295/.354/.535 the rest of the way.