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Tuesday, August 05, 2014

Collins: Lagares’ defense ranks with the best

Even the Mets, who watch Juan Lagares play every day, are sometimes amazed by the outfielder’s capabilities.

Lagares put on another defensive show in Monday’s loss to the Giants, throwing a runner out at home plate in the seventh inning to stop the bleeding during a potentially huge rally.

With one run already home and two men on base, Pablo Sandoval hit a sharp single to center field. Lagares charged, took a quick extra step and fired home, putting his entire body’s momentum behind the throw. It sailed about a foot to the third-base side of home plate, allowing catcher Travis d’Arnaud to catch it on the fly and apply the tag.

“There are a lot of good outfielders in this league, but Juan Lagares ranks right with anybody in this league defensively,” manager Terry Collins said. “He’s got a great arm.”

Russlan is fond of Dillon Gee Posted: August 05, 2014 at 04:15 AM | 15 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: defense, juan lagares, mets

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   1. Russlan is fond of Dillon Gee Posted: August 05, 2014 at 11:04 AM (#4764584)
Juan Lagares seems to make a really good play defensively every day. I just hope he can continue to hit .280 or so because he can be a really valuable player if he isn't horrible offensively.

We really haven't been talking about Matt Reynolds all that much. He's a 23 year old SS who has hit well in AA and AAA this year. Currently at .345/.413/.445 between the two levels. Could he replace Tejada next year? And what to do about Tejada who somehow has not been a good player despite the fact that he can play an average SS and post a .350 OBP?

I know I'm probably jinxing this but it's pretty crazy how much pitching there is in the upper levels of the Met system. Here are the guys the Mets have under their control next season: Harvey, Wheeler (has been really good recently), DeGrom (ditto), Niese, Colon, Syndergaard, Montero, and Steven Matz. Matz is currently doing really well in AA and could be ready for a big league promotion as soon as sometime early next year.

With Plawecki, Nimmo, Herrera, and Reynolds the Mets also have some position players who could help out as soon as next year. I really wonder how this offseason will play out. The Mets should have some payroll flexibility, a roster that needs a few tweaks to be a contender, and a better system than they have had in years.

I really can't wait for next year to start. This team finally looks like it could be turning the corner. I could see them going on a Rays like run of contention soon.

   2. thetailor Posted: August 05, 2014 at 11:17 AM (#4764599)
Re: Lagares, he's got to be the best defensive CF in the game right now, doesn't he?

Re: Tejada, #FreeWilmer

Re: Matz, I couldn't believe it when people forgot about him. I know he got TJ but he was so so highly regarded before it. I hoped he'd be back, and here he comes with a vengeance.



   3. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: August 05, 2014 at 11:27 AM (#4764607)
Re: Lagares, he's got to be the best defensive CF in the game right now, doesn't he?

UZR and DRS both have an upper echelon of Lagares, Hamilton, Bradley and Dyson all withing spitting distance.
   4. billyshears Posted: August 05, 2014 at 11:39 AM (#4764624)
I agree with #1, but I don't really believe in Matt Reynolds yet. He has no power and was really pretty bad last season. He's not going to hit .330 in the majors. Reynolds may be better than Tejada, but that's not such a high bar to clear.
   5. esseff Posted: August 05, 2014 at 12:28 PM (#4764685)
Oddity in Monday's game: Each center fielder threw out the other on the bases, Blanco having nailed Lagares going first to third.
   6. Elvis Posted: August 05, 2014 at 03:36 PM (#4764955)
Juan Lagares is a great defensive outfielder

Juan Lagares' arm strength is nothing special. What made the play yesterday was how hard he charged the ball and his ability to throw the ball accurately on the run. Look where he threw the ball from -- it's not much further than where an infielder would run out to get a cutoff throw.

Everyone trips over themselves because of all of the outfield assists. While it's a wonderful thing regardless of how he does it, his legs and his fearlessness deserve the bulk of the credit.
   7. thetailor Posted: August 05, 2014 at 05:52 PM (#4765113)
There was an article on Fangraphs last year about exactly that. As a former SS, he can charge the heck out of the ball and throw from right behind second. It's awesome. And it all counts just the same.
   8. formerly dp Posted: August 05, 2014 at 07:55 PM (#4765152)
To tie this into the other Met thread, given den Dekker's defensive reputation and his superior numbers at the plate, I wonder if he'd be the better option in CF.

Puello's really sucked this year, to the tune of .242/.344/.360.


I really can't wait for next year to start. This team finally looks like it could be turning the corner.
Agreed...

I could see them going on a Rays like run of contention soon.
...but I wouldn't quite go this far. They need some more hitting talent coming up through the system, no one who really profiles as a middle of the order hitter, other than Flores, and they seem hell-bent on not playing him for more than 2 games in a row.
   9. Lassus Posted: August 05, 2014 at 08:07 PM (#4765159)
To tie this into the other Met thread, given den Dekker's defensive reputation and his superior numbers at the plate, I wonder if he'd be the better option in CF.

? You need to elaborate on this, I think.
   10. formerly dp Posted: August 05, 2014 at 10:21 PM (#4765208)
? You need to elaborate on this, I think.
Lagares's offensive value is always going to be tied to his batting average-- for his ML career, he's at .259/.295/.364, and the primary difference between 2013 and 2014 is about 40 points of BA. He was a .281/.322/.403 hitter in about 2600 minor league PA. Den Dekker, in about 2000 minor league PAs, is at .288/.350/.471, and he's very well-regarded defensively (DD's nearly 2 years older, so there's that). Neither has the track record to suggest they'd be an asset in one of the corners. So I'm curious if DD would hit enough that it would cancel out the gap between them defensively. This isn't to suggest that Lagares be pushed to the bench in DD's favor or anything-- but Lagares looks like Gerado Parra with the bat, and DD's line suggests he might be a bit better. Not a huge deal, these are good problems to have.
   11. Russlan is fond of Dillon Gee Posted: August 05, 2014 at 10:31 PM (#4765213)
To tie this into the other Met thread, given den Dekker's defensive reputation and his superior numbers at the plate, I wonder if he'd be the better option in CF.

Woah, that's a pretty big statement. First, I don't think it matters what Lagares defensive reputation was a few years ago considering he only played CF for 150 games, over 4 years, in the minors. He has become a great defensive CF despite the fact that he hadn't really played the position much at all in the minors. It's pretty remarkable. I sincerely doubt that den Dekker is as good as Lagares. Also, it's important to remember that Lagares is 20 months younger than MDD.

For example, Lagares put up a .349/.383/.500 between A+ and AA at the age of 22. At the age of 23, MDD put up a .265/.337/.460 batting line at the same levels.

MDD has hit really well in AAA this year but he's 26 years old and everyone hits in Vegas. I don't see evidence that MDD is a better player especially considering how poorly he has looked at the plate at the big league level.

MDD does look he might have better secondary skills at the plate but BA does matter as well.
   12. Russlan is fond of Dillon Gee Posted: August 05, 2014 at 11:16 PM (#4765233)
A few more thoughts about some prospects:

How concerned are we about the fact that Dominic Smith has yet to hit a homer this year and has shown very little to no power yet in his career? He plays in a park that suppresses lefthanded power apparently (Savannah) but a batting line of .279/.347/.336 from a guy drafted as a first baseman worries me. Some guy at ESPN rated him as the top fantasy prospect at first base despite all of this just a week ago.

Obviously Dilson Herrera is tearing things up in the EL but Wilfredo Tovar has also had a decent season. He is hitting .303/.366/.370 on the season as a 22 year old. He is supposed to be a slick fielding SS as well. Sounds familiar to Mr. Tejada.

The Mets have a couple relievers that are striking out a ton of hitters, something above 13.5 k/9. Jake Leathersich and Akeel Morris. Both are walking far too many hitters but I am intrigued by them, especially Morris.



   13. formerly dp Posted: August 05, 2014 at 11:21 PM (#4765235)
Woah, that's a pretty big statement.
It was framed as an "I wonder" not an "he would definitely be". I don't disagree with a lot in your assessment. My only minor quibble would be that I'm hesitant to read too much into DD's substantial failings at the major league level.

ETA: I didn't mean to suggest that dD would be the superior defensive player.
   14. billyshears Posted: August 06, 2014 at 12:23 AM (#4765255)
I wouldn't get carried away with den dekker. He's too old and he has always taken a lot of time to adjust to each new level. I suspect that he just doesn't have it in him to adjust to the majors. I wouldn't put it past him to put together a couple productive years at 28 - 29, but it might take 600 unproductive PAs to get to that point. I don't think the Mets really have the luxury of that kind of patience at this point. I'd give him a shot for the rest of this season because, why not, but I wouldn't count on him for anything.
   15. JE (Jason) Posted: August 06, 2014 at 12:44 AM (#4765262)
I was at Nats Park this evening and was simultaneously wowed with Lagares' sparkling catch and (momentarily) mortified that he had broken his wrist.

And how about Campbell's accurate, one-hop throw to nail Werth at the plate? WTF was Bob Henley doing sending Werth home with no out on a LaRoche's hard-hit ball?

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