Juan Lagares hasn’t hit for much power in his career, as apparent by his ground ball rate (50.8 percent) to fly ball rate (28.8 percent). However, this winter he has been on a mission to revamp his swing.
The 28-year-old is already down in Port St. Lucie, Florida with some teammates after spending 10 days in California with hitting mogul Craig Wallenbrock, according to Mike Puma of the New York Post.
“I am trying to hit the ball a little more in the air,” Lagares told Puma. “The last couple of years I have hit the ball super hard, but on the ground, so I am just trying to get it a little more in the air.”
As MLB Trade Rumors points out, however, Lagares has seldom hit the ball hard contrary to what he said. They show that he had just a 27.5 percent hard hit rate for his career, and his figure from last season (29.6 percent) was not too far off from that. (Their research is courtesy of FanGraphs).
Lagares, who is known primarily for his stellar glove, is coming off a season in which he hit just .250./296/.365 with a 77 wRC+ and .287 wOBA over 272 plate appearances. He also had just three dingers and 15 RBI.
“I don’t think about hitting home runs,” he said. “I just want to hit more for average and I know I can do it, that is why I am working hard this offseason. I am trying to prove that I can do it.”
Puma adds that the outfielder is also working with Mike Barwis this offseason in an effort to stay healthy this year.
“I have gotten hurt a lot the last two seasons,” Lagares said. “Everybody wants an opportunity to play. I’ll just try to do my job and prove to people I can play.”