With just a little over of two months of baseball remaining, talks of leading candidates for awards is starting to ramp up. Already mentioned is Jacob deGrom’s push for NL Rookie of the Year honors, but today is about Juan Lagares.
There aren’t many Mets fans that would disagree with the statement that Lagares is the best defensive center fielder in the game. Some would argue he’s the best defensive outfielder in all of baseball, but that one seems a bit hard to defend.
The Gold Glove Award has taken on a life of its own over the past couple of years, with notable snubs of David Wright and Brandon Phillips causing the award to be looked down upon by most in the media. It’s become increasingly obvious that the best defensive player at a certain position isn’t getting the Gold Glove honors.
But the committee that gives out the award can really get back into the good graces by giving Lagares a much deserved Gold Glove award.
Outside the New York area, do many know about Lagares and his defensive abilities? Does Lagares have the national draw that a guy like Billy Hamilton has? It seems pretty clear that the answer to both of those questions are no.
Another knock on Lagares would be the extended period of time he missed earlier in the season. Still, Lagares has more Defensive Runs Saved (19) than Hamilton in 2nd with 12 in over 200 fewer innings defensively.
We’ve all seen the highlight reel plays that Lagares makes look easy. As SNY’s Gary Cohen said: “Where extra base hits go to die.” Every time a ball gets hit to Lagares, no matter how far it seems, the instant response from Mets fans is “Oh, Lagares has got it”. Yet, that being said, Lagares still makes plays that amaze.
Lagares is the best defensive center fielder, arguably outfielder, that the Mets have had since I’ve been born (which was 1994 by the way). He has turned himself into one of the brighter spots the Mets have had over the past couple of years.
A national presence is seemingly the only thing keeping Lagares from getting the Gold Glove. There is still two months of baseball where Lagares can keep doing Lagares things and gaining the national attention he deserves. Jacob deGrom was able to do it. Lagares will be able to do the same.
Lagares deserves a Gold Glove. He’s earned a Gold Glove. If he doesn’t win a Gold Glove, I will give up taking the award seriously. The decision seems pretty easy, but that doesn’t mean they will make the right one.
Regardless, Lagares is so much fun to watch and he will continue to amaze Mets fans with his defense in the outfield.