While most of the attention on baseball in New York this season has been directed at a certain aging shortstop, the Queens minority has been focused on the spectacular play of an arguably more exciting player. While his offense may be inconsistent, one thing all Mets fans can agree upon—and there aren't many of those—is that Juan Lagares is an absolute stud on defense. By every measure and every highlight, he's fantastic.
With the center fielder finally starting to attract national accolades, Marc Carig of Newsday sat down with Lagares to hear from the man himself about some of his best plays of the season. Make sure to click that link for the full story. The highlights are below:
While talking about this play:
"Yeah, I forgot about that one," said Lagares, who surprised himself by making the catch. "That was better than Werth."
Here's the catch he made to rob Jayson Werth of a home run back in May:
Wow. Lagares's favorite play, however, may be this one against Denard Span of the Nationals last month.
"I think the (catch) I made on Span was the hardest," he said. "The only thing I can remember is that he hit a little blooper in the middle right there and I had to go really hard to that ball and dive a little farther." Lagares hit the ground so hard that he got the wind knocked out of him. According to Baseball Info Solutions, this type of batted ball falls for hits 80 perent of the time. Lagares tilted those odds in the Mets' favor.
We know all too well how New York's baseball fans feel about bodily sacrifice in the name of the game. Fortunately, Lagares just had the wind knocked out of him on this play and should be able to continue amazing Mets fans throughout September.