San Diego Padres: Three sleeper candidates to make the roster
By Ryan Sikes
Juan Lagares is a guy that could find his way onto the roster who can play all three outfield positions. Last season was a disaster for the 30-year-old, slashing .213/.279/.326 in 133 games with the New York Mets. He’s two years removed from batting .339 – albeit over a 30-game sample – and batted .250 in 94 games during the 2017 season.
He’s not a high on-base guy, but he plays excellent defense, collecting a Gold Glove Award in 2014, and could be given spot starts throughout the week when other players need days off.
If anything is going to derail his chances of making this roster, it will be because of his issues to remain healthy. Since 2014, Lagares has spent a substantial amount of time on the injured list, playing in a combined 124 games between 2017 and 2018.
He’s off to a good start thus far in spring, batting .400, including 1-2 and two RBI on Tuesday against the Oakland Athletics.
I’ll admit that Lagares is a long-shot to make the roster given how tight the 40-man roster is. However, he’s a prime candidate to take advantage of an injury or a trade during the spring.