Juan Lagares Scouting Report (2010)
Mets prospect Juan Lagares was in the midst of a career campaign prior to suffering a broken ankle in late July which prematurely ended his season. Overall, the outfielder finished up with a line of .279/.296/.414 including twenty-five steals in thirty attempts. Whether fragile, or simply unlucky, Lagares has missed significant time due to injury resulting in two and a half full seasons worth of lost playing time. Having begun the season as an afterthought within the organization, Lagares was exceeding expectations prior to injury. Just how much has his prospect stock rebounded?
Physical Projection: While Lagares still has room to add size through his upper body, his lower half is already close to fully developed. With strong quadriceps and thick calves, he has some explosion on the basepaths. However, quirky timing at the plate limits his ability to incorporate his legs into his swing hurting his power projection. Players with wide hips and smaller upper bodies generally do not age particularly well which leaves me wondering how much his above average athleticism will be negatively affected with age.
Offense: Like many Latin American players, Lagares incorporates a significant amount of extra movement into his load and timing mechanism. Additionally, his stance is more upright than I normally like due to his legs to being very close together. The combination of the two leaves him guessing far too often and defenseless against below average breaking pitches. When he tries to stay back in his load, Lagares’ swing breaks into two distinct parts and his body drifts forward. It negates his power and causes him to chop pitches weakly into the ground.
On fastballs middle in, Lagares shows above average bat speed and the ability to drive the baseball. However, he often works against his strengths by swinging at the first fastball he sees no matter the location to avoid falling behind in the count. This leads to very few walks which are a concern now that Lagares is 21 and not 17, the age he debuted in the “Sally”.
Defense: Juan Lagares has made a relatively smooth transition to left field and can probably man center field in a pinch. He has the speed to cover plenty of ground and a solid average throwing arm. However, his routes are still rough due to a lack of repetitions, but his growth at the position is a promising sign going forward.
Speed: Similar to Cesar Puello, Lagares is not a true burner, but makes the most out of the speed he does have. Due to his body type, I see him slowing down as he matures with him settling in as a player with twenty stolen base potential.
Entering 2010, Lagares’ development likely left him a “non-prospect” amongst many scouts. Even though 2010 once again ended early for the young outfielder, he has significantly raised his status within the organization. He’s still more of a fringe prospect with some upside, but Lagares earned himself a promotion, and more time to get things right which is about all Mets fans could have hoped for.
23 Jan 2014 / Mike Newman /
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