Adam LaRoche
Adam LaRoche
39-Year-Old First Baseman1B
 Free Agent  
Free Agent
2019 Fantasy Outlook
There was no outlook written for Adam LaRoche in 2019. Check out the latest news below for more on his current fantasy value.
$Signed a two-year, $25 million deal with the White Sox in November of 2014.
1BFree Agent  
March 18, 2016
The White Sox have filed LaRoche's retirement paperwork, Colleen Kane of the Chicago Tribune reports.
ANALYSIS
LaRoche took a few days to think it over after walking out over a dispute with GM Kenny Williams regarding how much time his son spent in the clubhouse. The paperwork has now been officially filed, and LaRoche issued a statement thanking his former managers, coaches and friends in the game for the memories throughout the course of his 12-year major league career.
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The White Sox signed LaRoche to serve as a left-handed power bat to complement Jose Abreu at first base and DH. Unfortunately, LaRoche went on to have one of the worst seasons of his career, posting career lows in many offensive categories. This, and an internal issue involving how frequent his son was around the team, led to the veteran abruptly retiring right before the 2016 season.
After a roller coaster ride in his first three seasons in Washington, LaRoche finally turned in the kind of production the Nationals thought they were buying way back in 2010, as the first baseman hit .259 with 26 home runs and 92 RBI while also walking a career-high 82 times and posting a career-best .362 OBP. He was rewarded with a two-year deal from the White Sox that will see him split 1B and DH duties with Jose Abreu while playing in a much friendlier home hitting environment for left-handed power, so it's entirely possible that LaRoche will be able to top the 30 home run mark in 2015 for just the third time in his career. He is 35, however, and last season's quad and back issues were just the latest in a series of injuries he's dealt with over the last few years. LaRoche may be a riskier asset than it appears on first glance, so be warned.
LaRoche's season wasn't as bad as his 2011, but it was still a weaker effort than the Nationals expected. Side effects from new medication to control ADHD were initially fingered as the culprit, but then he had minor elbow surgery in the offseason which raised some questions as well. The formerly safe and boring LaRoche has now had three extremely volatile seasons in a row, so there's no telling what 2014 might have in store for him, but he's still got a firm grasp on the starting job in what should be a productive Nats offense. Don't write him off.
Everyone knew what to expect from Adam LaRoche in 2012, didn't we? The notoriously slow starter was coming off a torn labrum that all but wiped out his 2011 season, and Mike Morse looked like the far better bet to play first base for the Nats anyway, so the perennial second-tier consolation prize at first base was written off and relegated to endgame warm body status in leagues deep enough that he got drafted at all. “Nuts to that,” LaRoche said, and promptly rang up a .329/.415/.549 April en route to a career season at age 32. As a lesson in humility for fantasy experts, LaRoche's season was invaluable, and there is reason to think his performance could be due to an actual change in his approach rather than simply being a fluke (he had career-best line drive and groundball rates in 2012, and his 17 percent HR/FB rate was not too much out of character), but the safest course would be to forget that the last two years ever happened and value you him as you always did, as a second-tier consolation prize at first base.
LaRoche's 2011 season ended early due to left shoulder surgery. He suffered the injury during spring training, and it was obvious the injury affected his performance at the plate. His HR/FB ratio was a career-low 6.8 percent (14.8 percent for career), and he had a career-worst .086 ISO (.211 career). While not a top-tier first baseman, LaRoche had been a model of consistency by hitting 25 home runs in each of the previous three seasons with ISO's between .207 and .230. If healthy, LaRoche should produce 22-25 home runs and a .265/.335/.475 type of slash line, but keep an eye on his recovery during spring training before investing.
Always a popular draft-day fallback option at first base, LaRoche churned out another 25-homer campaign in 2010 while driving in 100 runs for the first time in his career. It wasn't enough for the cost-cutting D-Backs to bring him back with a longer contract during the offseason, and he'll begin the 2011 season with his fifth organization after signing a two-year deal with Washington. Underneath the favorable rotisserie production are signs of decay, most notably a career-low 69 percent contact rate and a walk rate that fell (down to eight percent) for the second straight season. Although the power tends to come in waves from LaRoche, he should be good for another 20-plus long balls again this time around while his plate discipline and batting average continue to slowly erode.
LaRoche had an up-and down season that saw him re-establish himself as an everyday first baseman with the Braves. LaRoche got off to his typical slow start with Pittsburgh (hitting just .247) before he was traded to Boston in July. He sat on the bench for his six games with the Red Sox before he was traded again to the Braves. LaRoche got hot with Atlanta (.957 OPS) as he took over the starting job, but that's not a surprise given the streaky pattern of his career (a lifetime .703 OPS before the All-Star break vs. a .909 OPS in the second half). LaRoche has good power as he's hit more than 25 home runs in three of the last four season and he draws walks, so he should be productive in an everyday role. His biggest risk is that he'll fall into a platoon role given his trouble against lefties (.902 OPS vs. righties against .706 OPS vs. lefties last season).
For the second straight season, LaRoche came up shooting blanks the first two months of the season for the Bucs. Although his final numbers look passable -- a .270 batting average, 27 homers and 85 RBI -- LaRoche was an unreliable first base option in fantasy leagues. The lefty batted just .220 through the end of May. After hitting at a .390 clip in July, however, LaRoche slipped to .228 in August. September then saw him drive in 26 meaningless runs. In other words, LaRoche not only frustrates his fantasy owners, but also the Pirates. His numbers should prove similar to what they were in 2008, but LaRoche should serve as nothing more than a middle-to-low fantasy choice at first base.
Stand up if you predicted LaRoche's splits against left-handed/right-handed pitching and his home/away performance in 2007. Good. Now sit down because no one believes you, anyhow. Everyone knows that LaRoche is a slow starter -- he hit .239 before the All-Star break and .312 after it -- but few could have predicted the lefty would bat .299 against lefties and .262 versus righties. Or that he'd hit .305 at PNC Park and .237 on the road. But that seems to be the nature of LaRoche -- unpredictability. Overall, LaRoche batted .272 with 21 homers and 88 RBI. It would be surprising to see him not improve upon those numbers with a year under his belt in Pittsburgh.
Traded to the Pirates in January of 2007. he's expected to bat cleanup against righthanded pitching and fifth (or perhaps sixth) against lefties. He's coming off a breakout season that saw his power surge. LaRoche started last season slowly and was still being platooned against left-handed pitching. He was hitting just .251/.325/.479 before the All-Star break. He caught fire in July and hit an amazing .323/.387/.655 after the break. LaRoche continued to struggle against southpaws with just a .797 OPS vs. lefties compared to a .950 OPS vs. righties. He could lose at bats in a platoon if he slumps as a result. While he took a few more walks last season, his eye at the plate could make his batting average a risk. His power is for real, however, and that will make him a hot commodity.
LaRoche's tenure as Atlanta's starting first baseman could be on the line this year after two mediocre seasons that have so far failed to live up to his hot prospect label. While LaRoche hit seven more home runs in 2005, his on-base and slugging averages fell. He had just a .527 OPS against left-handed pitching, so he'll likely need to be platooned once again. He's only a second-tier NL first baseman and his poor eye at the plate and lack of proven power potential could make him a bust.
LaRoche platooned with Julio Franco and had a disappointing start to his rookie season. He hit just .242 with 2 HR before separating his left shoulder in late May, missing a month. Once he returned he caught fire and hit .302 with 10 HR and a .952 OPS after the All-Star break. He should be in less of a platoon situation this season after his late-season surge and with Franco likely to decline at age 46. The jury is still out on his power potential and with the platoon situation taking away at-bats, he'll start the season as a second-tier first baseman. However, his strong second half shows he has potential to surprise.
After a strong year in the minors, LaRoche could be in the mix for playing time at first base for the Braves. He hit .283 with 12 homers and a .381 OBA at Double-A and .295 with 8 HR and a .360 OBA at Triple-A last season. If the Braves don't sign a big name free agent, he could be the left-handed part of a platoon at first base.
A strong year in High-A ball pushed LaRoche onto the Braves' radar screen, and could be a viable big league bench bat down the road.
More Fantasy News
Adam LaRoche: Leaning toward retirement
1BChicago White Sox  
Personal
March 15, 2016
LaRoche has told the White Sox that he's stepping away from baseball with the intent of retiring, Colleen Kane of the Chicago Tribune reports.
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1BChicago White Sox  
Back
March 11, 2016
LaRoche (back) said Friday his swing is at about 80 percent, the Chicago Tribune's Colleen Kane reports.
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1BChicago White Sox  
Back
March 10, 2016
LaRoche (back spasms) was supposed to return to the White Sox's lineup Wednesday, but he will be out for a few more days, the Chicago Tribune reports.
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1BChicago White Sox  
Back
March 7, 2016
LaRoche (back) could lose playing time in the wake of the White Sox signing Austin Jackson on Sunday, the Chicago Tribune reports.
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1BChicago White Sox  
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March 7, 2016
LaRoche will sit out two more days due to his sore back, Daryl Van Schouwen of the Chicago Sun-Times reports.
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