As if you needed any further proof of the exciting promise and the great things to come from Juan Lagares in 2014, I present you with this video acknowledgment of the aforementioned. I bestow a hearty hat tip to Ryan for emailing it to me.
What an amazing compilation showcasing Lagares’ emerging power, natural speed, gifted glove and powerful arm.
Lagares, 25, is coming off a solid campaign in Winter Ball that saw him bat .342/.379/.412 with 16 RBIs and five stolen bases in 114 regular-season at-bats.
During the 2013 regular season, Lagares finished with a .242/.281/.352 batting line, four home runs, 21 doubles, six stolen bases and 34 RBIs. Like fellow rookies Travis d’Arnaud and Wilmer Flores last season, there’s plenty of room for improvement at the plate, but the potential is clearly there.
On defense, Lagares might just be the best in baseball. His 15 outfield assists ranked second in the National League last season. No small feat when you consider that he didn’t start playing everyday until after the All Star break.
Despite not drawing nearly enough walks, Lagares showed improvement as he became more comfortable at the plate and as Sandy Alderson noted this Winter, “Juan is trying to adapt. It’s very important to look at things below the surface,” the Mets GM said.
“A lot can be predicted about a hitter based on when he hits in the count, early in the count or late in the count. You probably remember from last year, he was behind in the count all the time. He’s trying to make adjustments, mentally. It’s not about drawing walks, it’s about getting into hitter’s counts.”
Alderson also pointed out Lagares’ ability to get his bat on the ball.
“Another thing is that Lagares has a knack for making contact, even behind in the count. There’s not a lot of power there right now, but he definitely made an improvement as the season went on.”
Anyway, enjoy the video, think good things about our Mets, and get ready for Spring Training as pitchers and catchers report in only 19 days.