Juan Lagares is one of the longest tenured New York Mets and was called in to play in big games during the second half of the season. During his time as a Met, his bat never found consistency and could be playing elsewhere in 2020.
Come for Juan Lagares' grand slam.
Stay for Gary Cohen's voice cracking. pic.twitter.com/H4dI8N6ClG
— Cut4 (@Cut4) September 12, 2019
Lagares actually earned the opening day nod in Center Field, but lost some playing time due to his inability to hit. His gold glove defense was his redeeming quality over his career, but even that seemed lost. Lagares only hit .179 over the first three months and feel way down on the depth chart.
Thrown into the Fire
It seemed Lagares and the Mets were undoubtedly going in their separate ways in the offseason. Due to injures and swapping players all over the field, Lagares received the opportunity to play everyday. He took full advantage of it, hitting .322 in July and August. The gold glove defense also returned as all he needed was the opportunity to play everyday.
WHO ARE YOU AND WHAT HAVE YOU DONE WITH JUAN LAGARES?
(We LOVE this). pic.twitter.com/w1vok7Fz1s
— Amazin' Army (@WE_ARE_MET_FANS) August 18, 2019
He showed flashes of why the Mets gave him a five year deal after the 2014 season. Though his power never developed over his career he showed his ability to hit to all fields. In September he hit .273 with three home runs, his most in any month.
Where Will Lagares be in 2020?
Lagares finished the year with a .213 average in 258 at-bats with a .326 slugging. His second half at least puts him in consideration for the Mets 2020 plans. Lagares was the only natural center fielder on the roster and it would be no surprise for him to return. He is not an everyday player anymore, but he would fill the defensive replacement/spot starter role perfectly.
Hitting for Average: D, The Mets have always looked for more from Lagares, but he never met expectations
Hitting for Power: F, Only 18 extra base hits as his power never developed
Defense: B, He was average in the first half, but in the second half he looked like a gold glove winner
Speed/Baserunning: B, good speed and an above average baserunner. Could always be counted on to pinch run
Intangibles: A, worked hard everyday, went out to do his job and always helped the team in any way he could