Baseball for the Thinking Fan

Login | Register | Feedback

btf_logo
You are here > Home > Baseball Newsstand > Baseball Primer Newsblog > Discussion
Baseball Primer Newsblog
— The Best News Links from the Baseball Newsstand

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Juan Lagares may be the odd man out in the Mets’ outfield | HardballTalk

A little old, but I’m posting it because, much like the Blue Blazer, it made my blue blood boil.

The Mets made a splash this off-season, signing Curtis Granderson to a four-year, $60 million contract. They also picked up Chris Young on the cheap, and manager Terry Collins views him as a starter. That leaves one spot in the outfield between Juan Lagares and Eric Young, Jr.

According to Mike Vorkunov of the Star-Ledger, it sounds like Young is in the lead and Lagares may be relegated to a bench role or sent to Triple-A Las Vegas.

“As we sit here today Eric Young is the guy you’d like to see at the top of the order,” Collins said.

Collins also said: “Juan had a nice winter but when he gets in here we’ve got to see what our best options are. We’ve got three guys that can play centerfield that we know of and by gosh the best one is going to be out there because it’s a big position. Especially in our park…So we’ve got some jobs out there and if we need one of those guys to get nights off we know we’ll have a quality player to put in there. So we’ll make decisions farther in spring training.”

The District Attorney Posted: February 20, 2014 at 01:38 PM | 22 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: eric young jr., juan lagares, mets

Reader Comments and Retorts

Go to end of page

Statements posted here are those of our readers and do not represent the BaseballThinkFactory. Names are provided by the poster and are not verified. We ask that posters follow our submission policy. Please report any inappropriate comments.

   1. JJ1986 Posted: February 20, 2014 at 01:49 PM (#4659680)
"Leadoff hitter" isn't a position that needs to be filled, but the Mets really don't have any good options to hit there. I fear if it's not Eric Young, it will be Chris Young and his .280 OBP. I assume the rest of the lineup goes: Murphy, Wright, Granderson, Young, 1B, d'Arnaud, Tejada.
   2. PreservedFish Posted: February 20, 2014 at 02:26 PM (#4659724)
I would put Murphy at leadoff, but I'm not an old school manager.

I don't think it will ultimately matter who the opening day CF is. Chris Young has been a platoon player lately. Lagares, if his hitting/defense drops off at all, is also a platoon player. Granderson has health issues. Eric Young is a switch-hitter with relatively neutral splits - if he's healthy he will play plenty.
   3. Blastin Posted: February 20, 2014 at 02:38 PM (#4659735)
Granderson has health issues.


He has "hit directly in the hand by fastballs twice" issues. I don't expect 160 games, but there's no reason to expect under 100 or some such.
   4. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: February 20, 2014 at 02:44 PM (#4659743)
Isn't Lagares some defensive whiz kid? Eric Young is a 28 year old who had a 79 OPS+ and was let go by Colorado. It seems odd to bump Lagares for that. But....count da stealz!

2013 rWAR - Lagares 3.7, Eric Young -0.6
   5. Davo Dozier Posted: February 20, 2014 at 02:49 PM (#4659747)
I don't follow the Mets that closely--are the days of "Lucas Duda, outfielder" officially over?
   6. PreservedFish Posted: February 20, 2014 at 02:50 PM (#4659750)
Lagares' defensive numbers were incredible last year, and he looked very good, but not exactly Andruw Jones like, and he was never spoken of as a great defender in the minors, and we don't really know what will happen going forward.

I definitely recommend this Fangraphs article on his throwing: Juan Lagares: Assassin of Runners
   7. The District Attorney Posted: February 20, 2014 at 03:02 PM (#4659759)
I don't follow the Mets that closely--are the days of "Lucas Duda, outfielder" officially over?
Well, he's going to play there in spring training, because, y'know, it's unwise to position two guys at first base. I still don't think he will play outfield in games that actually count. If Ike is still on the team Opening Day, Duda won't be.

I don't like saying a player "should be" traded, since no one should be traded unless you're getting fair value back. Still, trading Ike and Murphy would make life a lot easier for several reasons.

Even not being sold on Lagares, I maintain it's ridiculous if the guy doesn't play this year.
   8. sinicalypse Posted: February 20, 2014 at 03:17 PM (#4659774)
having a perspective tainted from playing a lot of 5x5 roto fantasy baseball over the years, i dig eric young as a cheap/FA "steals guy" who can get you those 40+ SB if he gets the plate appearances.... but he really doesn't seem to do much beyond that, which leaves me with the perspective of "have him lead off!" but if he's got a career 1273 PA of a .325 OBP.... yeah methinks that isn't an ideal situation when you consider that last year between colorado and the mets he had his first full season and celebrated that by posting a .310 OBP.

[insert old "stealing first base" adage here]

so i'm going to assume that EY part deux has at least passable defense out there, however you'd want him to get on base more often to utilize his speed and help out the 2-4 hitters a bit more before you clap your hands and say "well we've solved that leadoff problem" --- i don't want chris young leading off for my team, suffice to say.... but i have a feeling that at least right out of the gate EY part deux is going to get a chance to show that he can do something closer to his .377 OBP in ~98 games/196PA in 2012 because, in theory, having him getting on base with the threat of the SB is the most desirable thing for the mets' lineup going forward.

not to mention lagares has a career .322 OBP in his ~6-7 yrs of minor league service, nor does he really steal bases or hit home runs all that much.... so i presume he must be some sort of defensive wizard to get 121 games / 480 PA of time with the mets last year.... or perhaps the mets' OF situation was a lot worse than i assumed having not paid a lot of attention to it last year.
   9. Lassus Posted: February 20, 2014 at 04:49 PM (#4659879)
I'm as optimistic as anyone, but not playing Lagares in the OF regularly this year would make me nearly too angry to even watch the Mets.
   10. Howie Menckel Posted: February 20, 2014 at 05:17 PM (#4659907)

Lagares is an amazing defensive player.
   11. attaboy Posted: February 20, 2014 at 06:09 PM (#4659954)
Wow, what I great job of explaining his value with easy to understand common sense, just a great article!
   12. bobm Posted: February 20, 2014 at 06:16 PM (#4659960)
How does one justify planning to play Tejada at SS and Davis at 1B but not start Lagares?

If you are not going to sign Drew nor a real first baseman who can hit, don't you want to spend the year seeing what Lagares can do with a full season?
   13. thetailor Posted: February 20, 2014 at 08:22 PM (#4660015)
The Mets are killing me.
   14. Russlan is fond of Dillon Gee Posted: February 21, 2014 at 12:51 AM (#4660082)
I'm not overly concerned about this. Lagares is going to get enough playing time for the Mets to figure out if he's going to be able to stick in CF.
   15. formerly dp Posted: February 21, 2014 at 09:30 AM (#4660125)
Lagares is going to get enough playing time for the Mets to figure out if he's going to be able to stick in CF.
I don't know-- if they really want to find playing time for EY, they're not pushing Chris Young to the bench for him. Lagares really was the last man standing in CF. I'm not totally sold on him, but he has hit enough in the minors that it's worth just handing him the job for a half-season. And den Dekker's still an intriguing option if Lagares falters; after a couple of more months at AAA, we should see if DD's got enough bat to warrant a shot. Puello got moved off of CF last year, so another option is to push Chris Young to CF and give Puello a shot in RF if he's making a strong enough push.
   16. JE (Jason Epstein) Posted: February 21, 2014 at 09:40 AM (#4660126)
I think many of you blokes are reading way too much into the referenced article. It reads like the usual meaningless spring training piece in which the team's skipper gives props to a hometown kid. (Eric Young is from New Brunswick.) Unless Lagares bombs in Grapefruit League action, I suspect he'll be in the starting lineup when the Mets head north.
   17. Lassus Posted: February 21, 2014 at 09:47 AM (#4660128)
I'm not totally sold on him

I will say that this is the sentiment I don't understand. Sold on him in that... you would give someone else the job? Or that you wouldn't sign him to an extension this year? Something between those?

Also, despite the level, if you aren't sold, what needs to happen to sell you?


I think many of you blokes are reading way too much into the referenced article.

This cannot be a shock.
   18. formerly dp Posted: February 21, 2014 at 10:41 AM (#4660158)
Sold on him in that... you would give someone else the job?
Like I said, I would hand him the job and give him a half-season to see if he improves with the bat and/or maintains his glove, and then re-evaluate from there. If he is what he was last season, he's serviceable, but den Dekker looks like the better all-around player, in terms of balancing bat and glove. I recognize that this is probably about the most boring position a person can take on the subject.
   19. attaboy Posted: February 21, 2014 at 11:46 AM (#4660210)
I think many of you blokes are reading way too much into the referenced article. It reads like the usual meaningless spring training piece in which the team's skipper gives props to a hometown kid. (Eric Young is from New Brunswick.) Unless Lagares bombs in Grapefruit League action, I suspect he'll be in the starting lineup when the Mets head north.

I am not too sure. The Mets have no lead-off hitter (even with EY) but as managers love to do, they will fit a square peg into an rectangular hole and get a small fraction but not all they need. defense gets dismissed too often and the need for a 'real' lead off man might rule (ruin) the day.
   20. JE (Jason Epstein) Posted: February 21, 2014 at 12:08 PM (#4660226)
I am not too sure. The Mets have no lead-off hitter (even with EY) but as managers love to do, they will fit a square peg into an rectangular hole and get a small fraction but not all they need. defense gets dismissed too often and the need for a 'real' lead off man might rule (ruin) the day.

I suspect Sandy will have a say about what constitutes a "real" leadoff man versus Lagares' playing time.
   21. The District Attorney Posted: February 21, 2014 at 12:36 PM (#4660244)
Newsday with more of this sort of stuff.
the Mets have balked at penciling in Lagares, whose defensive contributions may be difficult to quantify.
As one rival team official noted, defensive metrics generally are plagued with "less year-to-year reliability," making them far less precise than their offensive counterparts.
That relative lack of precision can make direct comparisons more complicated.
"You can't just take his 2013 WAR and say that'll work," said the official, who has a background in analytics. "You have to regress defensive projections a bit and combine those with your offensive projections, plus whatever else you know about the players." ...

Last year, when measured by OPS, the Mets finished in the bottom third of the league in four of eight defensive positions. With those struggles in mind, general manager Sandy Alderson established that offensive production will carry more weight as the team sorts through options in the outfield... Chris Young, considered an above-average glove, brings the potential to hit for much more power than Lagares. Meanwhile, Eric Young Jr. appears to have the inside track to play somewhere in the outfield because manager Terry Collins sees him as perhaps the team's only true leadoff man...

"I'm not asking [Lagares] to hit .330," Collins said. "But if this guy hits .280, he can be dangerous because he's such a good defender. Those are All-Star numbers if you play like he can defensively."
Paul DePodesta, the Mets' vice president of player development and scouting, said that improvement isn't totally out of reach for Lagares, 24. He's far from a finished product.
"What that ceiling is, I'm not good enough to tell you at this point," DePodesta said. "But there are physical attributes there. He has a chance to get better."
   22. Lassus Posted: February 21, 2014 at 12:43 PM (#4660252)
I know it's conditioning at this point, but this all just looks like they are going to put Young's potential ahead of Lagares' development too far into Young actually sucking (for which there is also considerable potential).

You must be Registered and Logged In to post comments.

 

 

<< Back to main

BBTF Partner

Support BBTF

donate

Thanks to
BDC
for his generous support.

Bookmarks

You must be logged in to view your Bookmarks.

Hot Topics

NewsblogHall of Fame Announces Changes to Voting Process for Recently Retired Players, Effective Immediately
(102 - 6:43am, Jul 29)
Last: David Nieporent (now, with children)

NewsblogFormer OF Jason Lane takes loss in first start
(29 - 6:31am, Jul 29)
Last: Steve Parris, Je t'aime

NewsblogPrimer Dugout (and link of the day) 7-28-2014
(49 - 6:20am, Jul 29)
Last: Mike Emeigh

NewsblogGossage on Bonds, McGwire Hall hopes: ‘Are you f–king kidding?’
(130 - 3:54am, Jul 29)
Last: vivaelpujols

NewsblogO'Connor: Tulo looks more A-Rod than Jeter
(28 - 3:04am, Jul 29)
Last: Zach

Hall of MeritMost Meritorious Player: 1957 Discussion
(5 - 2:52am, Jul 29)
Last: DanG

NewsblogBarney + cash to Dodgers for PTBNL
(10 - 2:51am, Jul 29)
Last: Walt Davis

NewsblogDeadspin: David Ortiz Pissed Off the Rays Again
(52 - 2:44am, Jul 29)
Last: DFA

NewsblogMark Teixeira says blame aging for extended absences
(1 - 2:35am, Jul 29)
Last: Bhaakon

NewsblogOMNICHATTER 7-28
(66 - 2:25am, Jul 29)
Last: if nature called, ladodger34 would listen

NewsblogOT: Monthly NBA Thread- July 2014
(1006 - 1:56am, Jul 29)
Last: clowns to the left of me; STEAGLES to the right

NewsblogOT: The Soccer Thread July, 2014
(463 - 12:46am, Jul 29)
Last: puck

NewsblogDmitri Young explains his amazing weight loss
(33 - 12:40am, Jul 29)
Last: PreservedFish

Newsblog2014 Prospect Watch | MLB.com: UPDATED
(21 - 12:28am, Jul 29)
Last: PreservedFish

NewsblogESPN: Yankee Fan Returns Lost Red Sox World Series Ring
(24 - 12:27am, Jul 29)
Last: catomi01

Page rendered in 0.2338 seconds
52 querie(s) executed