Fangraphs on LaRoche -
LaRoche is having the biggest impact with runners on base. He’s posted a .493 wOBA with runners on and a .425 wOBA with runners in scoring in position, numbers way ahead of his career averages. He’s hit two of the Nationals six home runs. And he’s driven in 13 of the Nationals 46 runs scored.
Sure, his BABIP is off the charts right now at .433. He’s been lucky and benefited from playing against teams with less than stellar defense. But he’s creating his own luck by hitting line drives and fly balls a much higher clip than he has over the course of his career. Before this season, his lowest ground ball rate was 35 percent. So far in 2012, it’s at 21. 9 percent.
At 33 years old, LaRoche is off to the best start of his career. Right now, he’s the engine powering the Nationals to their best start since the franchise moved from Montreal to Washington in 2005.