If history is any indication and the phrase, “History repeats itself” holds true, you can expect one whale of a season from Adam LaRoche for the Washington Nationals in 2014.
Next season, LaRoche will be entering the final year of his two-year contract with the Nationals. Back in 2011, Washington signed him to a two-year deal to replace Adam Dunn at first base. He managed to play in just 43 games after suffering a torn labrum. His stat line wasn’t impressive as he hit .172 with just three homers in 177 plate appearances.
In the second year of his contract, LaRoche exploded in a big way. In 2012, LaRoche hit .271, had 33 homers and 100 RBI. He was the Nationals most dangerous hitter and earned a Silver Slugger award for his play at the plate. He finished sixth in the MVP voting and also took Gold Glove honors.
Following the season, LaRoche opted out of his contract to test the free-agent market. After not getting good feedback, he returned to the Nationals on another two-year deal. Like the deal before it, LaRoche struggled in the first year of his deal this past season.
2014 will be the second year of his contract and that bodes well just based off of recent history. However, Mike Rizzo did say when they signed LaRoche back in 2011 that they liked him for his consistency. In two complete seasons with the Nationals, the first one was hindered by an injury, LaRoche hasn’t really been that consistent.
This offseason, there is some speculation about LaRoche’s future with the team and whether or not he’ll be traded. Personally, I think trading a guy capable of 20+ homers in any given season isn’t in their best interest, but you just never know, do you?
If the LaRoche does want to be wearing a Nationals’ uniform in 2015, he’ll need to repeat the success that he had in 2012. One thing’s for certain, history is on his side for a solid rebound season.