The 2014 MLB season was one that New York Mets fans might forget. Similar to years in the past, the team was underwhelming, finishing 79-83, tied for second in the NL East. For the eighth straight year, the Mets missed the postseason. But, they still got some hardware.
In this almost forgotten season that came a year before a magical playoff run where the Mets made the World Series, Juan Lagares won a Gold Glove. Moreover, he made Mets baseball fun, especially when he was in the outfield.
Throughout his entire Mets tenure, the concern for Lagares was never fielding. Shortly after making his debut in 2013, his defense became noticeable: between the speed in center field, the ability to dive or jump to make flashy plays and an arm that became more respectable over time, the Mets had one of the most exciting fielders in the league. Then, during the 2014 season, his ascent continued. Lagares posted a .984 fielding percentage along with six assists.
In an underwhelming year for New York, Juan Lagares was a Mets highlight reel with the glove.
No matter who was pitching that season - whether it was a long-haired Jacob deGrom, a living legend Bartolo Colon, or a pre-Cy Young finalist Zack Wheeler - there were always eyes on center field whenever Lagares was out there. There was the anticipation that he could make a flashy play whenever the ball was hit his way, and most of the times, he did.
His Gold Glove season was definitely the most memorable, but his impact went way beyond this. Throughout the Mets' pennant run, Lagares was used as a defensive replacement and even could have been the hero if a few things went differently. He was constantly the team's best defensive option throughout his entire Mets tenure.
Lagares was the 10th, and latest, Met to win a Gold Glove award, and he will always be remembered by fans for his flashy play on defense. He was considered one of the best fielders in the game and one of the more exciting outfielders in Mets history; whether the hardware and memories from fans, his flashiness is what made Mets' baseball fun.