Mets center fielder Juan Lagares was named Major League Baseball’s top Dominican Rookie.
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.
It’s exciting to see Lagares get so many accolades this offseason. While speaking about whether Lagares can improve at the plate in 2014, Sandy Alderson had this to say about him…
“Juan is trying to adapt. It’s very important to look at things below the surface. 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.”
“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.”
I believe Lagares is going to break out in a big way this season offensively. It should be fun to watch.