MIAMI -- Mets officials want Juan Lagares to become a more well-rounded threat. So not only is the staff giving Lagares the green light to steal, they are giving him must-still signs in an effort to compel him to swipe bases.
New York Mets
The logic: Lagares gets great jumps and flashes speed in the outfield. So the tools are there to make Lagares a more aggressive baserunner, too.
Lagares has 13 steals in 19 attempts in 223 career major league games. Three of those steals have come in his past four games. Lagares stole a career-high 25 bases in 2010, with Class A St. Lucie and Savannah.
"You can't play center field like he plays it, with that first step, and not be able to be a good baserunner -- because this guy is daring, he's got a great first step, he's got great speed when he gets it going," Terry Collins said. "But what we've got to do is get him to top speed faster. He shows it in the outfield. That's why I say there's no reason why he shouldn't be able to do it."
Said Lagares: "I know I can run a little bit. In the beginning I had a couple of injuries with my hamstring. That's why I didn't try to over-run. But now I feel 100 percent. I want to take advantage of that. I think if you've got the speed, it's just about working to steal bases."