I loved hearing what Sandy Alderson had to say about center fielder Juan Lagares yesterday during his interview on WFAN with Mike Francesa.
Only one day earlier, I was having a back and forth on twitter with one of my followers who was very concerned that Lagares had just one walk in Winter Ball. I tried explaining that what was more important was that he was hitting, working the counts and most importantly – making contact.
Almost as if on cue, Alderson cited two reasons why he believed that Lagares could provide some offense as an everyday player.
“One is that he is trying to adapt. It’s very important to look at things below the surface. A lot can be predicted about a hitter based on when he hits in the count, early in the count or late in the count. You probably remember from last year, he was behind in the count all the time. He’s trying to make adjustments, mentally. It’s not about drawing walks, it’s about getting into hitter’s counts.”
“Another thing is that he does have a knack for making contact, even behind in the count. There’s not a lot of power there right now, but he definitely made an improvement as the season went on.”
Juan Lagares is smoking the ball for Las Aguilas in the Dominican Winter League and is now batting .406 with a .417 on-base and for all you walk enthusiasts, I’m happy to report he drew a walk last night.
Lagares extended his hitting streak to nine straight games and has eight hits in his last four contests. Overall, he’s racked up 24 hits, four doubles, nine runs scored, 11 RBI and four stolen bases in 69 at-bats with an .880 OPS.
I love this guy…