In nine games for the Mets this season, Juan Lagares is batting .303 with a .351 OBP, four extra base hits and six RBI, though he’s struck out 24 percent of his plate appearances.
Matthew Cerrone, Lead Writer
He was intriguing last year. But he waltzed in to camp this past February looking like a star. I try not to let myself get romanced by storylines and easy narratives, but, man, he looked terrific, in great shape, focused and commanding. Then, couple that with his early-season success at the plate, not to mention his glove, and it’s hard to keep from imaging what he could become sooner than later. The jury should still be out, of course. I need to see him slump, fight back, hit again, and not let it impact his defense, before I really lock in on his reality. But, his potential, without question, is more than I thought it was toward the end of last year…
Maggie Wiggin, Contributor
Lagares is an elite defender with multiple plus tools on the field. His range and instincts are the best the Mets have had at any position since Carlos Beltran in his prime. The question: Will Lagares hit consistently? He’s off to a great start, hitting more line drives and drawing more walks than last year, as well as showing a bit of power. I’m not sold on his ability to sustain this for a full season, though. His high BABIP is primed for regression and his strike out rate is actually higher than last year, so he still has some work to do. He doesn’t need to do much at the plate to ensure that he’s a valuable every day center fielder; but, if his hitting continues to develop, he could turn out to be a very special player…
Michael Baron, Contributor
Yes, he’s been a star early on — both offensively and defensively — but it’s too soon to determine whether or not he can sustain this offensive production. It’s encouraging to see this growth from Lagares. He is swinging at fewer pitches outside the strike zone than he did last season, he’s been a fantastic situational hitter, especially with runners in scoring position and he has shown an ability to spray the ball all over the field, an indication he’s less anxious and not trying to do too much at the plate. But, let’s see where he is in a couple of months before applying the ‘star’ label.