Juan Lagares has not managed to appear in at least 100 games for the New York Mets over the past three seasons. With a challenged outfield, that can’t be in 2019.
Although losing Jay Bruce in a trade was a blessing for the Mets, he did fill a spot in the outfield where the Mets are hurting as they enter the upcoming season.
And speaking of hurting always brings to mind the talented but often injured Juan Lagares. Reportedly healthy and ready to go, Lagares is being heavily counted on by Mickey Callaway as one player who automatically is written into the Mets lineup every day.
An outfielder by trade, in centerfield alone Lagares has accounted for 33 assists, throwing out runners with a rifle arm and an acumen for baseball for positioning himself in the outfield and knowing in a split second where he needs to be to make a play.
Not a big power hitter, Lagares is capable of reaching the gaps, converting singles into doubles with his speed. But overall, he remains an unknown to the Mets in terms of what a full season might look like – if he can stay off the DL.
Injuries, as we know, are part of the game. But some players (think Dustin Pedroia, Michael Brantley, and Stephen Strasburg) seem to spend an inordinate portion of their careers on the sidelines. Juan Lagares has developed a reputation as one of those players – and rightly so.
The Mets need Juan Lagares to be Juan Lagares and nothing more. Just show up every day and be ready to play. A season with numbers like a .275 BA, with 18 home runs and 75 RBI should suffice, along with his steady and All-Star play in the outfield.
But the main thing for Juan Lagares is to be in the Mets lineup every day…