Juan Lagares has been named the ESPN Defensive Player of the Month for August. Previously won by players like Pablo Sandoval, Jason Heyward and Troy Tulowitzki, Lagares joins the ranks of Major League Baseball’s elite defensive players. Adam Rubin reported that Baseball Tonight analyst and former major leauger Doug Glanville described Lagares as having the “…ability to be in the right place makes me think we need a stat to measure teleportation accuracy.”
First base coach Tom Goodwin spoke to ESPN about Lagares. He had this to say:
“He gets good jumps. And a lot of guys have to slow down when they’re coming up to the ball in order to catch it. He’s one of those guys who can maintain his speed and still be under control enough to make an accurate throw. Those things are hard to do. I had enough trouble myself, when I was playing, just trying to catch it. So I always had to slow down. And then I’d have to try to pick up my momentum. But he seems to be able to maintain that speed while he’s coming up to catch the ball and he maintains it all the way through.”
The honor comes just a few months before Gold Gloves are handed out. Last year, Lagares came up just short but this year he seems like a lock for the award. He’s become an elite defender and currently ranks first in Major League Baseball with a 3.6 dWAR.