Is Juan Lagares about to be an MLB star?

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.


DAP_9811

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.




128 comments
Louis Liotta
Louis Liotta

I think Lagares  could be another andrew jones when he was in his prime

eric88
eric88

I remember this blog asking the same about Duda at one point.

ihatewlpns
ihatewlpns

I've watched a lot of baseball in my lifetime and i can say that Juan Lagares is top 3 best defensive center fielders i ever saw i mean he really is that good. The only two that I've seen better are ken Griffey and Andrew Jones. In fact i think Andrew jones was "the best" i ever saw. I mean he used to wait under fly balls and catch them without any effort.

Now I no it has been a small showing but Lagares is special. Were not only talking about his range which is ridiculous but his arm is a cannon. Not only does he throw hard but he's accurate as well. I don't think any of you no how hard that is.

Anyway to me, he only has to bat .250

Pauly Pins
Pauly Pins

100 bucks hes a gamer..........anyone

Pauly Pins
Pauly Pins

why not.....its about time that a let a young guy play. he can play field and get hits. no let the yoots pitch

BringBackDaveTelghe
BringBackDaveTelghe

I like Lagares, but c'mon...we need to see more then 9 games before we can say he's going to become a "star".

Bo Beck
Bo Beck

Sorry but I need more then two weeks to get excited, talk to me when he puts up a full season.  

lindro88
lindro88

I'm a big fan of Lagares. Every Mets fan has to be. That being said the comparisons to Beltran are a big stretch. As a 22 yr old. Beltran. Hit .293. OBP. .337. Ops .791. 22 HR. 108 RBI 27 stolen bases.

Frank Accardi
Frank Accardi

People forget he moved up from double a.....last year

We maybe seeing a future allstar we can all hope now if the wilpons would sell the team but that's another story

Mohit Bhalodkar
Mohit Bhalodkar

He literally looks exactly like a young carlos beltran

Joe Paulson
Joe Paulson

I didn't see it but Gary and Ron noted that Lagares was the one -- after Meija gave up a few runs and threw his glove (Bob Ojeda -- "got to address that!") -- who talked to him, maybe saying "man up, we are going to score some runs" or something. 

And, partially thanks to him, they did.

Tom Gallagher
Tom Gallagher

While it is early yet (both on his career and the season) don't forget he did well in the off-season (Arizona Fall League??) and raked all spring.

xplr
xplr

I liked Lagares ;last year, but primarily as a defensive player. A dWAR or 3.5 is quite good. As much as I hope this is the start of a great career, calling him a star today is a bit ridiculous. For record, he has bounced around the minors for 8 seasons and his lifetime MLB BA is .247.Let's not select him to the hall of fame just yet.




Russ Sullivan
Russ Sullivan

He's definitely in the top 3 of defensive center fielders but let's not be crazy and says he's the best in the league because that's just not the case

Russ Sullivan
Russ Sullivan

To be clear he doesn't say all star in the post he just says MLB star. But yes not enough time yet to know for sure but the kid sure looks like the real deal. Kinda shines a nice light on what will be an otherwise depressing season

chasesimms
chasesimms

Wonder why a comment I wrote is pending. Had nothing controversial and no poopy words.....

Strange.

Bob Cooney
Bob Cooney

Best defensive center fielder in the game. Period. End of subject. And he sure looks like he's going to be a heckuva hitter, especially after he fills out. All-star? Not yet....but real soon. IMO, of course.

dannym28
dannym28

However mike trout is a star and they are not in the same category offensively. Defensively Juan might be better 

tk2120
tk2120

this may also be why fans get so disappointed in our players...because after a week of barely hitting .300, he's this star...oh, hey, ruben tejada? how ya been......the kid is young, he's fairly talented, obviously he knows how to handle a glove...but good lord, let something play out before this is posted....put this article away until about may of 2016 and then tell me what you think of him

Colin Kelly
Colin Kelly

Last year he couldn't hit enough, now he's an all star after a week? Let's appreciate the start he's off to before we overvalue him.

tk2120
tk2120

haha...guys, its been 9 games...what happens is he's hitting .260 after next week? It's still too early to tell based on 'how he looks'...let the kid play for a year & see where he goes....he can have 2 or 3 great years and still not be a 'star'....if mike trout all of a sudden struggles, is he a star? no...he's a good player, good while it lasted........i think 'star' is being used a little liberally here...so instead of 'star', maybe say 'hey, he looks good so far'.....but thats about all you can say

rstpigeon
rstpigeon

Not the time to ask. He needs to get his strikeouts down and continue to do everything else he's doing - making good contact, drawing walks (this will come if he keeps hitting) - and start stealing some bases. His defense is beautiful.


Do that for a few years, and, yes, you have a star.

rf04
rf04

I get excited for the half innings when the Mets are on D to watch him patrol CF. I haven't enjoyed watching that this much since Ordonez and that infield.


And the kid hit quite well in the minors - so I won't be shocked if he can hold his own at the ML level.

bigdirty
bigdirty

After last year I wanted to see more of Lagaras. Obviously his defense is phenominal but i really appreciate how he has been clutch in the begining of the year. He reminds me a little of carlos Gomez who I though had termendous skills and has blossomed. I hope he keeps it up. The mets could really use a breakout offensive player to go with their pitching. 

davidd_nyc
davidd_nyc

Lagares is someone to hold on to. I'm unhappy that we had players like Lagares in the past in Gomez and Pagan, only to see them traded and achieve a MLB Star status somewhere else. We have him, now let's take care of him and keep him healthy. He'll be everything we hope if he stays focused. Lets Go Mets!



helloboy
helloboy

Juan Lagares passes the eye test.  He has a swagger and confidence that other players lack and a knack for clutch hits.  he also shows that he is open minded and willing to learn.  Lagares is going to be a 4 tool player.  I think he is going to be a star and is already on his way.  We are only seeing the tip of the iceberg right now.   He does not look overwhelmed or intimidated by the name of the guy on the mound either.  


He has perennial all-star written all over him.  The only person that can mess him up is him.  He has everything that you can possibly want, short of power.  

nymess
nymess

it's a small sample size...only time will tell, but let's hope so. 

mettle
mettle

Didn't TC want to send him to AAA before Chris Young got hurt so EYJ could lead off?

tullers
tullers

The biggest difference I've noticed so far is that he's far more disciplined at the plate.  Borderline calls haven't been going his way - as his plate presence gets better he'll get more of those calls in his favor.  He's doing a much better job of protecting the plate and swinging a whole lot less at junk balls.  

Yes, it's early, but you'd be dishonest to say he hasn't improved quite a bit over last season.

ken1010
ken1010

My first thought was that he could easily have a career like Aaron Rowan, who was a great fielder, who made amazing catches, and could hit a little.  Rowan made the all-star team once in his 11 year career.  Rowan had a .273 career average with about 10 homers per year.  

Maybe Carlos Gomez is a better comparison?  Shane Victorino?

The point is that he could easily be an above average player, who makes the all-star team once or twice.  At least that's what I hope for him.  

The alternative is that he is Endy Chavez, who was never a real starter, but was fun to watch.


Alan J Tepper
Alan J Tepper

Remember how great Benny Agbayani was when he first came up?  

Louis Liotta
Louis Liotta

@Bo Beck  I look at it like this hes young he is very good now he can only get better as long as he stays healthy

Olerud42
Olerud42

@Bo Beck  I'm enjoying his production so far but yeah, I agree. A little to early to call him a star. 

lindro88
lindro88

Besides the fact he doesn't switch hit, steal bases or have the power Beltran had.

rf04
rf04

@Tap Zoo Ck  Murphy doesn't sit (see: last year). And Grandy is going to have to play - so I don't agree on that point.


I can see Lagares getting some rest during the season if he cools and if the team is playing well enough for wins to become a bigger priority, but he needs to play and develop.

Kim Jong-un
Kim Jong-un

Are you surprised that terry would make a bad baseball decision?

helloboy
helloboy

@ken1010  the difference is his arm.  He makes the catches, but the arm is incredible to boot.  Impressively, he is learning to use all fields.  I think he may be the first Juan Lagares.

Matt Buckley
Matt Buckley

@Alan J Tepper comparing a player like agbayani to lagares is laughable..completely different players, lagares has his impeccable d to fall back on, agbayani was always a 1 trick pony

Louis Liotta
Louis Liotta

@lindro88  Give him time i think he has a much better arm then Beltran had at this stage of his career

tk2120
tk2120

@Tap Zoo Ck i agree...i just hate the conclusions that people jump to...i just want to be able to enjoy some players and i'll worry about what to call them in 5-10 years....ike davis could have been a star too..and now we cant get rid of him fast enough...i see what you're saying though, and i'd love to be optimistic about lagares, i just need to see a full year before any of this kind of chatter