NEW YORK -- The Mets believe they've got something special in center fielder Juan Lagares, and they keep hoping others will agree with them.
Fredi Gonzalez does agree.
"I saw him last year, and he was impressive," the Atlanta Braves manager said Wednesday. "I said to my coaches, he might be the best center fielder in the National League. Now, a year later, there's no doubt about it."
New York Mets
Managers and coaches are the ones who vote for the gold glove awards, and the suggestion from Gonzalez was that in the Atlanta precinct, Lagares will be getting plenty of votes.
With the Mets short-handed for Wednesday's game, manager Terry Collins had Lagares batting second. Lagares has homered twice in the last three games, and Collins said he sees significant progress at the plate.
"Offensively, he's starting to get it," Collins said. "You're going to look up and this guy is going to hit at the top of the order or in the middle of the order. This guy, he's going to be a good player."
In some ways, he already is.