Free Agent Profile & Prediction #30: Tommy La Stella

ANAHEIM, CA – MAY 23: Tommy La Stella #9 of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim hits a grand slam home run in the ninth inning against the Minnesota Twins at Angel Stadium of Anaheim on May 23, 2019 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images)

One of the feel good stories of 2019, La Stella was enjoying a renaissance season for his career, before fouling a ball harshly off of his leg, and thus ending his season. All told, he ended with a .295/.346/.486 slash with a .832 OPS and earned his first All-Star selection in 2019. In 2020 he continued his rise in production, playing for both the Angels and Athletics, he posted an .819 OPS and even higher OPS+ that 2019 at 127. While La Stella has not sported high power or Hard Hit percentages in his career (HH% of 29.3 for his career) he has been nearly impossible to strike out, averaging a 10.5 percent rate for his career, and was in the 100th percentile in K% in 2020 at 5.3 percent.

With the glove, La Stella will likely see time at first, second and third with whatever team signs him for 2021 and beyond, but according to DRS and UZR he is a well below average defender at second at -17 DRS and -4.3 UZR for his career, and a little better but still bad at third, with a -4 DRS and -4.3 UZR. The only position he is league average at, is first, where he comes in with a 0 DRS for his career and 0.5 UZR. While La Stella with his rising bat, makes up for his lackluster defense, it is probably wise to just set him in a role that makes him an everyday first baseman, with some time spent filling in when needed.

La Stella, only entering his age 32 season in 2021, is a great grab for realistically any team in need of a positive contribution from a first baseman, or a team needing a DH/UTIL type of player.

These are the teams I believe are in contention for La Stella: Washington Nationals, Milwaukee Brewers, Oakland A’s, Los Angeles Angels, Baltimore Orioles, Miami Marlins

Final Landing Spot Prediction: Tommy La Stella signs a 3 yr/32 million dollar deal with the Oakland Athletics

2021 Stat Line Prediction: .292/.381/.439 .820 OPS 12 HR 66 RBI

Published by riskomatt

I am a 23 year old college baseball player at Cumberland University. In the past I have worked for Baseball Info Solutions, I have coached at varying levels, ranging from youth, to collegiate. I am a sports management major in college, entering my senior year, with a minor in journalism. I love to write and I love baseball, so a blog seemed once again a great place to start. Former owner of Its Always Baseball Season sports blog.

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