FOGO is an acronym in lacrosse, and its value holds true. A FOGO’s job is to Face Off and Get Off, after having already made their impact on the game. Trevor Baptiste plays his role, and he plays it well.
Baptiste has been dominating the PLL, ripping apart opposing faceoff specialists, even slipping his way through the defense to help navigate an offensive possession. Baptiste is having one of the most special seasons of all time and is earning him a real shot at the PLL MVP.
Playing his position ‘well’ is not the right way to describe it. It is unbelievable. The last FOGO to win a significant Lacrosse MVP award was Greg Gurenlian for the New York Lizards of the MLL. His faceoff percentage was 73.3%. During this season, Baptiste is at 74%.
During Gurenlian’s MVP season, he had a decent 4 points, which is fairly good for his position. It’s just a real shame that halfway through the season, Baptiste has already beaten him out by 2. His 3 goals (1 2pt) and 2 assists lead the faceoff position and rank him 34th out of any player in the league.
This guy is dominating at all levels. Even against the best competition, no one stands a chance. He went 12-19 against the second-highest faceoff percentage in the league held by Joseph Nardella, and against the third-highest in Connor Farrell, as I’m writing this, he is currently 12-15 with more time to play.
He is simply the most dominant player in Lacrosse right now. Nobody is holding down their position the way Baptiste is, and against the absolute best on the stripe, he still manages to deliver with pristine accuracy, all the while finding a way to get his team the ball in the net.
As of right now, the clear number one contender for the MVP spot is Archer’s attackman Will Manny. There’s no doubt he’s having an amazing year, with his surpassing of 20 points holding the leading mark of the season. He’s accurate, he makes the right pass, and he is an all-around stellar player.
However, what one needs to consider is team success. The faceoff position, although only spending a brief time on the field, is one of the most important in Lacrosse. It is the sole way to give a team possession of the ball after a goal.
This is what makes Baptiste so special. In an already dominant offense, he constantly gives his own guys the second opportunity to score, helping them ride the momentum to another successful offensive possession. Will Manny doesn’t impact the game in that type of way.
I firmly believe that a dominant player as a faceoff specialist is more valuable than a dominant player on the attack because no matter what, if you replace that offensive guy with an average PLL player, you give him 20 shots and he’ll make a couple. If you replace Baptise with an average FOGO, you’re losing half the possessions you had, losing momentum on offense, and making the defense have to work that much more.
Trevor Baptise is a priceless player that cannot be matched. His skill and versatility led him to success and the strength of his position helps his case too. He is absolutely irreplaceable, and without him, the team’s winning falls short. But with him? The Atlas are a powerhouse that can take the league in the palm of their hands.