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2007 Baseball Roster

Matt LaPorta


6' 1"
Port Charlotte, Fla.
215 lbs.

Major: Recreation and Event Management
CAREER: Chosen in the first round of the 2007 Major League Baseball Draft by the Milwaukee Brewers with the seventh pick…Became the 11th first-round pick from Florida and was the second-highest Gator ever taken behind John Burke, who went sixth to the Houston Astros in 1991…LaPorta was the quickest UF player chosen since Brad Wilkerson went 33rd overall to the Montreal Expos in 1998…Ranks ninth on the school's all-time list for games played (215) and is seventh for games started (201)…Registered a career batting average of .323 after becoming just the eighth Gator to finish a season with a .400 or better clip in his final collegiate campaign…Is UF's all-time leader with 74 home runs, a total that rates third on the SEC's career list…In the Gator record book, LaPorta is first in times hit by a pitch (51), second in RBI (206), third in slugging percentage (.681), fourth in walks (140), fifth in runs (197) and tied for ninth in on-base percentage (.459).  

AS A SENIOR (2007): Became the first person to be chosen SEC Player of the Year twice in his career...Only Gator ever to receive the award...Also collected Academic All-SEC recognition…Was named an All-American by five different organizations…Garnered first-team kudos from the American Baseball Coaches Association, Baseball America, and was a second-team choice by Collegiate Baseball Newspaper and Pro-Line Athletic/NCBWA…Became just the fifth Gator to achieve All-America status in multiple years, joining Perry McGriff (1959, 1960), Tom Moore (1962, 1963), David Eckstein (1996, 1997) and Brad Wilkerson (1996, 1997, 1998)…First-team honoree on the All-South Region squad released by the American Baseball Coaches Association...A 2005 first-team recipient, the slugger became just the third Gator to achieve first-team status twice, joining Jim Watkins (1978-79) and Scott Ruskin (1984-85)…Wilkerson earned first-team kudos in 1997 and second-team recognition in both 1996 and 1998…Earned first-team All-SEC recognition for the second time...Was a finalist for the USA Baseball Golden Spikes Award, the Dick Howser Trophy and the Brooks Wallace Award, accolades presented to the most outstanding player in collegiate baseball...Finished his career with 74 home runs, third on the SEC’s all-time list and among the top 10 in the NCAA Division I record book...Led Florida in an assortment of offensive categories: batting average (.402), slugging percentage (.817), on-base percentage (.582), total bases (138), runs (60), walks (55), RBI (52), homers (20) and  hit-by-pitches (19)...The slugging and on-base percentages were both single-season school marks...Led the squad in round-trippers for the third year in a row...The slugger was second behind Cole Figueroa (30) with 20 multiple-hit efforts and had a team-high 12 multiple-RBI games...LaPorta had 30 of the Gators’ 33 intentional walks...Reached base in 51 of the 52 games he played, the lone exception against Kent State on Feb. 23...Named to the SEC Baseball Community Service Team...First on the Gators and in the SEC with a .446 batting average in league activity and had 32 runs, 26 RBI and 11 bombs...One of 30 NCAA Division I college baseball players named as a candidate for the 2007 Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award, presented to college baseball’s outstanding senior student-athlete...An acronym for Celebrating Loyalty and Achievement for Staying in School, the award is designed to honor the attributes of college senior student-athletes who stay in school and pursue the many rewards that a senior season can bring...Final collegiate hit was a towering homer over the left-field wall in the season finale in Hoover versus South Carolina...Did not have too much of a chance to bat against Tennessee, as he drew 10 walks (nine intentional) in 14 plate appearances...Matched his own single-game record of five walks in the opener against the Vols...All five passes were intentional...Walked twice on both Friday and Saturday...Was 4-for-11 (.364) at LSU and drew four intentional walks...Opened the weekend with a bang, going 4-for-5 and matched his career-bests in RBI (six), hits (four), runs (four) and homers (two)...Was 0-for-2 but was walked intentionally three times on Saturday... Missed three-straight games with a quad injury leading into the LSU series...Career-high 20-game hitting streak ended in the first meeting with Alabama, when he was 0-for-1 with three intentional walks...Missed the first two games at Vanderbilt with an injury and went 2-for-3 with two RBI in the finale while serving as the DH...Began the fourth with his first homer since April 14 at Arkansas and delivered a run-scoring single in the fifth...Had one hit in each meeting with Kentucky for a 3-for-10 (.300) weekend...Left the finale with a strained right quad muscle...Opened the scoring in the first stanza on Saturday with an RBI single...Went 2-for-4 with two runs and an RBI double in the 5-4 upset over top-ranked Florida State...Passed Ben Harrison for second on the school’s all-time list with his 194th RBI...Registered a hit in all three games by going 4-for-9 (.444) at Arkansas...Went 2-for-4 in the finale...Became Florida’s all-time leader in HBP when he has plunked in both ends of Saturday’s doubleheader...Clubbed his 16th homer of the year in the fifth inning of the opener off Arkansas All-American Nick Schmidt...Had two more hits in the defeat to UCF and poked an RBI double in the ninth...Extended hitting streak to a career-high 11 games by going 4-for-10 (.400) in the South Carolina series...Went 1-for-4 and drew two walks in the third game but grounded into a bases-loaded double play with the Gators ahead 5-2...UF would fall in 11 innings, 8-6...Contributed two hits, two RBI and scored twice in the 9-8 edging of the Gamecocks on Saturday...Walked on four pitches in the bottom of the ninth to set the stage for Cody Neer’s three-run walk-off homer...Set a career-high with six RBI in the 16-7 win over No. 1 Florida State, when he was 2-for-4 with three runs...Connected on three-run blasts in both the first and second inning, giving him 10 HR in the past seven games...Was named Louisville Slugger’s National Player of the Week for the first time in his career on April 2...Picked up SEC Player of the Week for the second-straight time following a blistering stretch when he was 8-for-15 (.533)...Named to College Baseball Foundation Honor Roll for the fourth time to tie for most of any player nationally...Keyed Florida’s first road sweep of Georgia since 1993 by going 6-for-11 (.545) with six RBI, five runs and four homers...He drew five walks, including four intentional free passes, and did not strike out...Cranked two homers in the Gators’ wins on Friday and Saturday and established a school record by homering in five-consecutive games...Continued hot streak by going 2-for-4 in the win over Bethune-Cookman...Tied the game in the sixth with an RBI single and provided insurance with a home run to lead off the home part of the eighth...Has belted four dingers in the last three games...Was chosen as the NCBWA National Hitter of the Week and the SEC Player of the Week after a sizzling 7-for-13 (.538) effort in the sweep of No. 21 Auburn...Earned a spot on the College Baseball Foundation Honor Roll for the third time this year...Became the first-ever player from Florida to receive a Pro-Line Athletic National Player of the Week award and was the first Gator to collect a national player of the week honor since pitcher Keith Ramsey was recognized on April 30, 2002 by Collegiate Baseball...Totaled seven RBIs, three homers, three doubles and was hit by a pitch four times at AU...Went 2-for-3 with two RBIs and a pair of doubles on Friday, 1-for-6 with a homer on Saturday and was 4-for-4 with four RBIs, three runs, two home runs and a double on Sunday...The two jacks marked his fifth multi-HR outing...LaPorta also tied a school record by being plunked three times in the series opener and is three shy of Brian Rose’s career record of 48 HBPs...Six-game hitting streak ended at Stetson, when he was 0-for-3 with a walk...Opened SEC play in fine fashion, going 6-for-11 (.545) with six runs and four walks versus MSU...Scored a season-high three runs as part of a 1-for-3, two-walk outing in the rubber game...Went 2-for-4 with a double, stolen base and two runs during UF’s 10-8 victory...Roped three singles to kick off league activity...Was 1-for-4 and scored in the triumph over Army...Limited to two hits in 10 at bats (.200) at Texas A&M and scored twice in the second matchup...Followed Figueroa’s two-run HR with one of his own in the fifth versus Jacksonville...Also drew two walks...Went 2-for-6 (.333) against George Washington with four RBI, four HBP, three RBI and three walks, two of which were intentional...Was hit twice in each of the final two games...Returned to the lineup at USF and was 2-for-3 with a clutch game-tying RBI double in the ninth...Was injured during the first game against Kent State and missed the final two games of the series...Was 1-for-3 with a double, two runs and was hit twice against Florida State...Chosen to the College Baseball Foundation Honor Roll for the second-straight week after batting .400 (6-for-15) during the Gators’ games with Florida A&M and Miami (Fla.)...Was 3-for-10 (.300) in the squad’s 2-1 series triumph over the fifth-ranked Hurricanes...In the final game of the set, LaPorta was 2-for-4 with a pair of homers and matched his career-best of five RBI set against Mississippi State on April 17, 2004...LaPorta did not connect on his fourth homer of 2006 until April 1 against Vanderbilt...Was 3-for-5 with a run, RBI single and stolen base in the  rout of  Florida A&M...Hit .583 (7-for-12) in the season-opening series and was named to the CBF Honor Roll...Became the Gators’ all-time home run leader with a solo shot starting off the seventh against VMI on Feb. 11...LaPorta’s 56th career round-tripper cleared the wall in left center field...Finished that game 3-for-5...Also homered in game two of the set, when he was 2-for-3 with a pair of RBI...Opened the year by going 2-for-4.

AS A JUNIOR (2006): Was chosen by the Boston Red Sox in the 14th round of the Major League Baseball Draft with the 433rd pick but elected to remain in school…With 14 homers, he became the first Gator to lead the team in round-trippers in consecutive seasons since Brad Wilkerson accomplished the feat since 1997 and 1998…Missed a stretch of 13 games between Feb. 24-March 14 with a strained oblique and returned to the lineup against Arkansas on St. Patrick’s Day...Batted an identical figure of .259 on the season and in league play...Totaled 38 RBI to rank third on the squad and his on-base percentage of .410 led the team...Eleven of his 14 HR came against SEC competition...Needs one round-tripper to match Wilkerson’s school-record total of 55...Batted .309 with runners on base and .326 with runners in scoring position...Closed the year by going 5-for-12 (.417) in the series win over LSU…Matched his career high of four hits in the second meeting with the Tigers, when he was 4-for-5 with two RBI…Was 2-for-8 (.250) at Alabama but both of his hits left the ballpark....Tied a school record held by Wilkerson with five walks in the opener and scored a run during UF's 4-3 edging of the eighth-ranked Crimson Tide...Swatted two three-run homers against Georgia...Batted .400 (4-for-10) against Auburn and mashed a pair of dingers...Set the tone for the win over Florida State with a solo homer in the first inning deep to left...Finished 2-for-4 with two runs and a pair of RBI...Went 4-for-12 (.333) at Tennessee, helped by a 3-for-5 performance in the third game...Collected his first double of the season on Easter Sunday...Hit .417 (5-for-12) at Kentucky…Homered in all three meetings with the Wildcats for the second year in a row...Had two hits in the first and third games of the set...Cranked a two-run homer in game two with Vanderbilt...Was 4-for-12 (.333) at South Carolina to become the Gators’ top hitter in the series...Launched a solo homer in the finale at USC and went 2-for-4 in the first game...Clubbed the third grand slam of his career versus Florida A&M on Feb. 22 with a towering shot over the left-field bleachers into the O’Connell Center parking lot...That was the first game all season he did not draw a free pass...Second on the Gators in Coral Gables with a .300 (3-for-10) showing...Drew three walks and was hit once...Was 1-for-3 in the third game with a run and a sacrifice fly...Moved into second place on the school’s all-time home run list with a solo shot in the eighth inning of the second game with Miami that snapped a 1-1 tie...Was 3-for-10 (.300) against Cincinnati, with four runs and three RBI...Also drew six walks, two each game, and was hit once...Poked a two-run single in the finale and matched his career high with four runs...Went 2-for-4 with an RBI in UF’s first game of the year…Entered the campaign on the Watch List for the Brooks Wallace Award, presented to the nation's top collegiate player.

AS A SOPHOMORE (2005): Member of the 2005 USA Baseball National Team…Was the first individual from Florida to be chosen as the Southeastern Conference Player of the Year…Recognized as a first-team All-American by the American Baseball Coaches Association (ABCA), Baseball America, Collegiate Baseball Louisville Slugger, the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association (NCBWA), and USA Today/Sports Weekly…The first-team All-SEC pick also secured all-tournament honors at both the NCAA Gainesville Regional and the SEC Tournament…Named as the SEC Player of the Week on three occasions (Feb. 21, April 25, May 23)…Appeared on the Xanthus-Dick Howser Trophy Watch List…Led the NCAA with 26 home runs, setting a single-season school record…Second on the team with a .328 batting average...Ranked first in the SEC in slugging percentage (.698), runs batted in (79) and homers...LaPorta's RBI total was one shy of Ryan Shealy's UF standard established in 2002…Drove in 41 runs and belted 15 bombs during 29 conference games…Batted .250 (5-for-20) in College World Series action with six RBI and a pair of dingers...Drove in Florida’s two runs against Texas in game one of the CWS Championship Series with an eighth-inning single…Captured the NCAA home run crown with a fifth-inning blast against Arizona State on June 23…Connected on his 25th homer of the season versus Tennessee in the opening round of the College World Series…Scored seven runs and notched four RBI during the NCAA Regional…Had a career-best nine-game hitting streak snapped by North Carolina on June 4...Was 2-for-4 with a career-high four runs scored, three RBI and a homer earlier that day against Stetson...Hit .412 (7-for-17) with five runs, three doubles and two RBI during the SEC Tourney...Went 3-for-5 with three runs and a pair of doubles in the 10-7 win over Ole Miss...Delivered a scorching .438 (7-for-16) clip during Florida’s sweep of Vanderbilt and win over Stetson...Had a monstrous stretch where he blasted three-straight game-winning home runs...Clubbed a solo shot in the 13th in game two at Vandy after launching a grand slam in the opener...Later finished the weekend by going 2-for-4 with a two-bagger and a run as the Gators sealed the SEC title...Helped UF overcome a 4-3 deficit to Stetson with a two-run job with two down in the eighth frame of an eventual 6-4 win...Named as the SEC’s Player of the Week after hitting .462 (6-for-13) at Auburn...Drove in seven runs and connected on three more homers...Swatted two blasts in the opener and scored the winning run in game three against the Tigers...Turned in a .357 (5-for-14) series at Georgia...Opened the scoring in the rubber game with a solo shot starting off the second inning and wound up 3-for-5 with three runs...Homered in all three games against Kentucky and led the Gators with 10 RBI...Three of his four hits on the weekend left the yard...Finished 4-for-12 (.333) and cranked two home runs at Ole Miss, totaling five RBI...Snapped a 4-4 tie in the seventh with a solo shot, helping the Gators end a six-game losing streak to the Rebels and a 10-game slide in Oxford...Scored a team-high seven runs and was 4-for-9 (.444) in the Michigan State series...Drew six walks, two each game, and poked two doubles...Went 4-for-5 with three RBI and three runs against FAMU on Feb. 22...Fell a double shy of hitting for the cycle...Laced his first career triple over the center fielder’s head...Chosen as the SEC Player of the Week on Feb. 21 for the first time in his career after a sizzling .583 (7-for-12) effort against Miami (Fla.) in which he socked three home runs and had a slugging percentage of 1.417...Belted a two-run homer in the sixth of the finale after the Hurricanes pulled to within 12-10...Set a career high with three walks...Went 3-for-4 in game two, including a double and a hit by pitch...Mashed two round-trippers on his way to a 3-for-5, three-run, three-RBI opener but UF fell by a 9-7 count.

AS A FRESHMAN (2004): Chosen as a First-Team Freshman All-American by Baseball America…Named to the SEC All-Freshman team released by…Played in 50 games and started a total of 36 games for the Gators at four different positions (17 at catcher, 12 as the designated hitter, six in left field, one at first base)…Batted .285 overall with 37 runs batted in and 31 runs…Tied senior C.J. Smith for second on the squad with 14 homers, averaging a big fly every 9.3 at bats…Drew 13 walks and poked five doubles…Led UF with a freshman-record .646 slugging percentage…Totaled eight multiple-hit efforts and rated third on the team with 10 multiple-RBI games…Managed three or more hits in a contest on five occasions…Hit .329 in SEC games, the fourth-best average on the club, and ranked second behind Smith with 22 RBI…Clubbed eight homers in 18 conference starts…Matched classmate Adam Davis for the top spot in league play by being plunked four times…Batted .375 (3-for-8) in the NCAA Super Regional at Miami (Fla.) with a pair of doubles and a homer…Doubled and drove in a run during victories over Central Connecticut State and UCLA at the Oklahoma City Regional on June 4 and 6, respectively…Delivered a solo shot in the SEC Tournament opener against LSU…Blast came in his 100th at bat of the campaign…Went 5-for-10 (.500) at Tennessee, contributing five RBI, four runs and three homers…Jacked a couple of homers in the second matchup with the Vols and ended up 2-for-3 with three RBI…That contest completed a run of three straight outings in which LaPorta took a ball out of the yard…Closed the series against Ole Miss with a 2-for-4, two-run, two-RBI performance that included a HR…Delivered a pinch hit and scored during 6-5 win over Alabama on May 9…Established career highs in runs batted in (five) and hits (four) and tied career-best in runs (three) in 16-6 victory at Mississippi State on April 17…Plated two runs with a double against Georgia on April 4…Helped the Gators pick up a road sweep at Kentucky with a .462 (6-for-13) clip and five RBI…Went 2-for-5 and drove home two runs in the second meeting against the Wildcats…Enjoyed season-high six-game hitting streak between March 17-31, a stretch in which he batted .450 (9-for-20)…Launched a three-run bomb versus Dartmouth on March 24 to trigger a stretch of three games in a row with a dinger…Came through with a pinch-hit grand slam on St. Patrick’s Day in setback to Army…Went 3-for-4 and scored three times in 14-8 slugfest over Brown on March 12…Collected an RBI with his first career hit against Gardner-Webb on Feb. 8…Had scored a run in his collegiate debut versus the Bulldogs the previous day.

SUMMER: Played in the Cape Cod League for the Brewster Whitecaps last summer…Earned the starting nod at first base for the East in the league's All-Star game in addition to being chosen to the season-ending All-League squad with his .463 slugging percentage, 19 RBI and six home runs…Shined during Brewster’s three-game playoff series with the Yarmouth-Dennis Red Sox, putting together a .375 average along with a homer before his team fell to the champions-to-be…Recognized for his positive attitude when he was presented with the Daniel Silva Sportsmanship Award…Led the 2005 USA National Team with four home runs and tied for the team lead with 12 RBI…His slugging percentage of .552 was second behind Tennessee's J.P. Arencibia (.579)…Batted .259 in the 16 games he played, with 15 starts… Joined Gator classmate Adam Davis in helping the Yarmouth-Dennis (Mass.) Red Sox to the 2004 Cape Cod League Championship…Named as a starter for the Eastern Division at the league's All-Star Game held on July 24…Hit .234 and paced the Red Sox with 20 runs batted in…Joined the 20-20 club in both walks and runs as well…LaPorta wound up second in the home run race behind Falmouth’s Daniel Carte, who took home the Pat Sorenti Award as the league’s Most Valuable Player.

HIGH SCHOOL: Was a four-year letterwinner and starter at Charlotte High School, where he was coached by Dave Tollett and Mike Metcalf…Second-team all-state selection in Class 5A by the Florida Sports Writers Association…Honored as the Charlotte Sun Player of the Year and his district’s Co-Player of the Year as a senior, when the Tarpons captured the district championship…Batted .455 in his final season with a team-high 53 runs batted in and a school-record 10 homers…Is Charlotte’s all-time leader with 24 career home runs…Selected in the 14th round of the 2003 Major League Baseball Amateur Draft by the Chicago Cubs…Named third-team all-state and all-area as a junior after hitting .360 with 41 RBI and nine dingers…Helped CHS to the district crown during his sophomore campaign with a .310 clip and 32 runs batted in…Achieved second-team all-state distinction and was voted as his club’s Defensive Most Valuable Player…Emerged as the winner of the Sarasota SNN-TV Home Run Derby after cranking 28 four-baggers…Earned two varsity letters in football and was a member of Charlotte’s Student Leadership Panel.

PERSONAL: Matthew Vincent LaPorta was born Jan. 8, 1985, in Port Charlotte, Fla…His parents are Vince and Cindy LaPorta…Has a younger sister, Nina, 17…His mother graduated from the University of Florida in 1984, and his father played football at the College of duPage…Is a member of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes…Admires slugger Albert Pujols of the St. Louis Cardinals…Majoring in recreation and event management.

Overall Season Statistics
2004 .285 50-36 130 31 37 5 0 14 37 13 39 1-3
2005 .328 70-70 265 75 87 16 2 26 79 44 65 3-7
2006 .259 43-43 158 31 41 2 0 14 38 28 34 0-0
2007 .402 52-52 169 60 68 10 0 20 52 55 16 2-3
CAREER .323 215-201 722 197 233 33 2 74 206 140 154 6-13
SEC Regular-Season Statistics
2004 .329 27-18 70 17 23 1 0 8 22 7 19 1-1
2005 .296 29-29 115 29 34 5 1 15 41 13 25 0-3
2006 .259 30-30 112 22 29 2 0 11 25 17 25 0-0
2007 .446 26-26 83 32 37 5 0 11 26 34 10 1-2
CAREER .324 112-103 380 100 123 13 1 45 114 71 79 2-6
SEC Tournament Statistics
2004 .071 4-4 14 2 1 0 0 1 1 1 4 0-1
2005 .412 4-4 17 5 7 3 0 0 2 1 6 1-2
2007 .111 3-3 9 1 1 0 0 1 1 4 1 0-0
CAREER .225 11-11 40 8 9 3 0 2 4 6 11 1-3
NCAA Tournament Statistics
2004 .294 5-5 17 3 5 4 0 1 3 2 7 0-1
2005 .256 11-11 39 12 10 1 0 3 10 6 9 0-0
CAREER .268 16-16 56 15 15 5 0 4 13 8 16 0-1

At Bats: 6 vs. Auburn (3/24/07)
Runs Scored: 4, 3x, last vs. LSU (5/11/07)
Hits: 4, 5x, last vs. LSU (5/11/07)
RBI: 6, 2x, last vs. LSU (5/11/07) 
Doubles: 2, 2x, last vs. Auburn (3/23/07)
Triples: 1, 2x, last vs. Kentucky (4/2/05)
Home Runs: 2, 9x, last vs. LSU (5/11/07)
Walks: 5, 2x, last vs. Tennessee (5/17/07)
Stolen Bases: 1, 6x, last vs. Mississippi State (3/17/07)
Hit Streak: 20 games (3/23-5/4/07)


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