Mets OF Juan Lagares had 12 outfield-arm runs saved in 2013, second behind OF Gerardo Parra (Dewan, Jan. 10).
“His lofty total was supported by his 12 kills — runners thrown out without the assist of a relay man,” Dewan writes about Lagares. “That is the sixth-highest total in the last five seasons. He trailed Parra’s 15 kills last season, but Lagares joined Adam Jones — who had 10 kills in 2010 and 13 kills in 2011 — as one of only two center fielders to exceed eight kills in a season since 2009.”
According to FanGraphs, Lagares saved 28 runs overall in 2013, third most behind Parra and Carlos Gomez among outfielders.
Michael Baron, Contributor
Perhaps what’s most impressive about the runs Lagares saved – whether with his arm, glove or both – is he was able to do it in fewer innings than many of the other players listed. He is an incredibly talented defensive player, and he’s a lot of fun to watch chase after balls and throw runners out all over the diamond. The question is: Will Lagares hit in the big leagues? He swung at 35.4 percent of pitches outside the strike zone last year and drew only 20 walks in nearly 400 plate appearances. That’s just not going to get it done. He has to improve in 2014.
During the holiday party last month, Daniel Murphy made an interesting point about plate discipline: he said taking pitches is not just about getting on-base, but also getting into advantageous counts so he can get better pitchers to attack. He’s right, and that can apply to Lagares. If Juan can remain more patient on balls outside the strike zone (both in early and deep counts), he can attack more hittable pitches and become a more well-rounded player.
Read more: Cannon arms in 2013 (Dewan, Acta Sports)