When Mike Trout hit the IL, many around the league began to not take the LA Angels seriously.
Since then, though, we’ve found a way to battle back to being a .500 ballclub.
There weren’t a ton of options to play center in Trout’s absence, and Juan Lagares became the guy. While Lagares hasn’t been awful, he hasn’t necessarily stepped up.
Juan Lagares has been mediocre in his time filling in for Trout in the LA Angels outfield.
Up through the day Trout got hurt, Lagares was hitting .208/.269/.333. He’s a great defender, and has even won an NL Gold Glove award in 2014.
So, he had a great glove, but was quite the disappointment on offense. That’s not going to replace Trout.
But, he then went 10 for 28 in his first 10 games without Trout. He was getting on 37.9% of the time. He raised his numbers all the way up to .288/.327/.423 and was doing a great job in Trout’s place.
Those numbers weren’t great, but they look really good when you factor in his elite-level defense.
Then, he regressed to his norm. From Game 11 without Trout until the end of the Diamondbacks series, Lagares has hit .157/.157/.216.
Yes, he is one of the best defensive center fielders in the American League. He still hasn’t necessarily stepped up in Trout’s absence, though.
It’s hard to hate on Lagares, due to him being on a Minor League contract and him at least providing us a nice 10-game stretch where we didn’t pull our hair out and wonder what the season would be if Trout was still here.
It’s easy to admit, however, that he hasn’t been what we’ve wanted him to be since Trout’s injury.
He doesn’t provide much on the bases, as he hasn’t stolen a single base all year (all statistics in this article are as of the end of the Diamondbacks series).
Credit to the Angels for finding a way to stay afloat so far without needing to trade for another center fielder, but it’s also fine if Angels fans expect more from Lagares.