Is Juan Lagares an everyday center fielder?

Juan Lagares 2 polaroidIn an article comparing Mets OF Juan Lagares to Michael Bourn, who the Mets did not sign this off-season to play center field, the New York Post’s Joel Sherman quotes a baseball official as saying:

“Lagares has really impressed me, and our scouts and I think he’s a much better value — and very likely a better player — than Bourn for 2013-2016. He isn’t as polished right now, but he may be the best defensive center fielder in the NL right now with apologies to Andrew McCutchen. He’s a young, cheap, high-upside piece for the future. I would rather have Lagares through 2016 than Bourn independent of the money because the former has more upside and is younger and will continue to improve.”

Bourn would have cost Sandy Alderson’s top draft pick, No. 11 overall, this summer.

However, Bourn chose not to wait for Alderson’s appeal to protect the pick, and he eventually signed an offer to join the Indians.

Matthew Cerrone, Lead Writer

Lagares made an incredible catch during Monday’s game, going back on the ball, leaping and pulling it in over his head with total ease, crashing in to the outfield wall. In that time, broadcasters and fans on Twitter compared him to Andruw Jones, Tommy Agee, Carlos Beltran and other top defensive center fielders. That’s high praise.

The buzz from Citi Field is that, with work, Lagares can do enough at the plate that – when coupled with his incredible defense – he can start everyday in the big leagues. However, to justify the expected lack of offense, the Mets know they need more production from other spots. For instance, I’ve heard a loose plan that includes trading for an outfielder-with-power and signing an OBP guy (such as Shin-Soo Choo), while trusting Lagares to patrol the outfield’s most important position.

In either case, this kid has done a lot to make an impact this season; and he’s done it at the right time, since this year has seemingly all been about evaluating what talent is worth building around for the future.

Read More: New York Post (Sherman)