Phillies: 3 free agent center fielders they can sign
Juan Lagares is another solid defensive center fielder who has largely struggled to hit in his career, but he remains a viable platoon option for the Phillies.
After an average rookie season with the Mets in 2013, Lagares made himself a staple in the Mets lineup by hitting .281 with 24 doubles and some very good outfield defense. Lagares won himself a Gold Glove in 2014 and stole 13 bags while setting what are still some of his career-best numbers across the board.
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New York gave Lagares a $23 million extension in 2015, but injuries and a lack of hitting knocked him out as the every day center fielder in Queens. Since 2016 he’s hit .242 averaging just 14 extra-base hits a season, and after last season ended the Mets just him instead of paying his $9.5 million option.
What Lagares could bring to the Phillies is defense and the ability to hit lefties, something they might want from a platoon player. He’s a career .264 hitter against lefties and he has the Gold Glove hardware to bring along to Philadelphia.
Lagares can also spray the ball across the diamond, as seen on his spray chart, courtesy of Fangraphs.
Lagares might be another minor league contract the Phillies have to dish out, but it will virtually cost them nothing to give him a shot at the 26th roster spot in spring training. Don’t sleep on Lagares as someone with a chip on his shoulder that the Phillies could give a shot to.