Name: Juan Lagares
DOB: March 17, 1989
Batting and Power: Lagares took an enormous jump with his offensive skills in 2011, developing from a simply average contact hitter with questions about his big league future, to one that has all the look of one capable of handling the highest-level pitching. Lagares hit a combined .349 in 2011, with a .338 mark in St. Lucie and a .370 average in Double-A (38 games). Lagares has a good base and strong legs which give him excellent balance at the plate. He is an aggressive hitter who relies on his bat speed to put balls into play. He doesn't take many walks as a result, but keeps his strikeouts to an acceptable rate (16.1 percent). Lagares has limited home run power, and does not project to hit more than 10-15 home runs over the course of a full season.
Base Running and Speed: Lagares has bulked up over the last 12 months, but retained above-average speed. His stolen base total dipped last season and that could be due to his extra size, but don't let the numbers speak for his speed. Lagares has plenty of speed and can use it to put pressure on defenses. He has the skills to swipe 20-plus bases over the course of a full season.
Defense: Lagares' transition to the outfield became complete in 2011 as he saw time at all three positions. He possesses an average outfield arm, but he uses his speed to his advantage. He demonstrates could range and continues to improve his ability to read the ball. He still projects best in left field, but a small Citi Field could make center field more suiting his ability at the highest level. Either way, his comfort in all three spots further raises his stock.
Projection: Lagares' monster season at the plate definitely pushed his projection in that of a big league asset. The upcoming season will important for him to demonstrate that he can continue the track he is on, but Lagares has played himself into a role at least as a fourth outfielder. If he can show a little more pop and continue to hit .300 once he gets to the show, he may play himself into the mix as a starter.
ETA: 2013. Lagares should return to Binghamton to begin the 2012 season. Being added to the 40-man roster this offseason increases the likelihood he could see New York if he repeats his showing form last season. However, the better odds are that he splits the year between Double-A and Triple-A before breaking through as a fourth outfielder in 2013.
Scouting Mets Prospect #15: Juan Lagares
Amazin Clubhouse Top Stories
Reyes, Cabrera spark Mets comeback winNew York ended a three-game skid and gave its fans a major reason to cheer on Thursday night.
Amazin ClubhouseThursday at 8:49 PM
3-Stars of the Series: Mets vs. BravesThe Amazin's suffered a gut-wrenching loss on Wednesday night that saw them get swept at home by the lackluster Braves.
Amazin ClubhouseThursday at 8:29 AM
3-Stars of the Series: Mets vs. TwinsAmazin' Clubhouse recaps a series sweep of the struggling Twins.
3-Stars of the Series: Mets at NationalsNew York lost two out of three in the Nation's Capital, but still holds the second Wildcard spot in the National League.
3-Stars of the Series: Mets at BravesNew York completed its last ever trip to Turner Field with a series win over the lowly Braves.