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Juan Lagares wins Fielding Bible award for outstanding defense

The center fielder's talents will be recognized in this year's The Bill James Handbook.

Mike Stobe

It's not often that Mets position players are honored by baseball experts, so today should be a happy day for Mets fans. Juan Lagares has been named the top center fielder in baseball by The Fielding Bible Awards. Unlike the Gold Gloves, of which 18 are handed out each season, there are only 10 Field Bible Awards. That makes this accomplishment even more special for Lagares, who Mets fans have been lucky enough to watch shine all season long.

Here's John Dewan of Baseball Info Solutions on why Lagares deserves recognition:

In 2013, Juan Lagares started only 88 games in center field, yet he saved 26 runs there defensively for the Mets. He finished second in the 2013 Fielding Bible Award voting. This year he started 105 games, blew away the field with another 28 runs saved, and won his first Fielding Bible Award. His throwing arm in center field is superb and deeply respected by baserunners; he had six Outfield Arm Runs Saved in 2014. But it's his ability to cover ground that sets him above the rest. He saved 20 more bases on deep balls than an average center fielder (+20 Plus/Minus), the highest total among all center fielders. This is true despite the fact that, generally speaking, he plays on the shallow side. He had a +11 total on shallow balls, second best among center fielders. His +9 on medium hit balls was fourth best. Lagares finished first on every ballot except one.

It would be tough to find a Mets fan who would say that the numbers aren't telling the story in this case. The other Fielding Bible Award winners are Lorenzo Cain (multi-position), Adrian Gonzalez (first base), Dustin Pedroia (second base), Josh Donaldson (third base), Andrelton Simmons (shortstop), Alex Gordon (left field), Jason Heyward (right field), Jonathan Lucroy (catcher), and Dallas Keuchel (pitcher).

There you have it. I'm just glad Lagares will not have to compete with those Kansas City outfielders when the Gold Gloves are announced next Tuesday.