The New York Mets are receiving interest in center fielder Juan Lagares according to Jon Heyman of Fan Rag Sports. Heyman also reiterates that the Mets areas of need are outfield, second base and at least one more reliever.
Lagares will make $6.5 million in 2018, $9 million in 2019 then has a $9.5 million for 2020 that has a $500,000 buyout.
Original Post – Dec. 16
Juan Lagares has already shown he can take off in the outfield to catch what seems like every ball. However, he is now getting ready to launch at the plate as well.
The 28-year-old defensive wizard has been working with private hitting instructors, Craig Wallenbrock and Robert Van Scoyoc, to help alter his swing and hit for more power. These are the same people who helped transform Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Chris Taylor into a star.
“This was my idea,” Lagares said in Spanish in a recent telephone interview with the New York Times. “I’m trying to find the help that may benefit me.”
This offseason, in order to improve his overall offensive game, Lagares will be working with his private hitting instructors on decreasing his ground ball rate, bolstering his fly ball rate, improving his launch angle and boosting his exit velocity.
Lagares captured the 2014 Gold Glove award and figures to finally get more playing time next season with the departures of Curtis Granderson and Jay Bruce as well as Michael Conforto likely missing time at the beginning of the year with injury.
When healthy, the main knock on Lagares has always been his hitting. The same can be said about Taylor, who before joining the Dodgers was an afterthought of a player. Upon making the appropriate adjustments, he went on to club 21 homers and drove in 72 runs while hitting at a .288/.354/.496 clip in 568 plate appearances in 2017
“It can help me,” Lagares said of working with Wallenbrock and Van Scoyoc to try to hit more balls in the air and rack up more extra-base hits. “I have to keep working on it. Just because I went to them doesn’t mean I’m going to hit 50 home runs.’’
Last month, Lagares worked with Wallenbrock and Van Scoyoc who filmed his swing and dissected it. Lagares also watched power hitters such as Mike Trout and how they swing.
“I watched all the power hitters and saw the little things they do that you don’t normally notice,” Lagares said. “You can learn from them and practice it.”
While Rome wasn’t built in a day, Lagares hopes that slow and steady will help him win the race and transform him into the hitter he wants to be.
“It’s my first year doing this,” he said. “I hope to have a good year. And it also depends on the opportunities I get. I can do all this, and if I don’t get the chances to play, I can’t do anything.”