Juan Lagares is a good ball player, but the Mets have to play him everyday so he can keep developing and adjust to the major leagues.
I always thought that Matt den Dekker was the best defensive outfielder in the Mets’ organization, but I am starting to see why some held the notion that Lagares was just as good. The kid is a dynamite defender and plays with an old school aggressiveness, daring the hitters to try to hit the ball over his head. He plays shallow, to take away the dinks and dunks, and still has the speed to chase down a ball hit over his head to the warning track as we saw in last night’s game.
Offensively, he was trying to do too much at the plate. Like a pitcher who may try to overthrow when he gets called up, hitters can get into the habit of trying to pull everything. Lagares is now showing more patience at the plate, and the really impressive thing from last night was that he took a ball on the outside corner of the plate to right field. In the past, he would try to pull that pitch and hit a weak grounder to the left side of the infield.
An injury is never a good thing, but if not for den Dekker’s wrist injury, there is a good chance that he would be the guy patrolling center field right now, and not Lagares. The question for Lagares moving forward is whether or not he will be able to hold the job down. So far so good.