2011 Season in Review: Angel Pagan
The New York Mets went 77-85 in 2011. As suggested by the sub-par record, there were a fair share of ups and downs throughout the season. “2011 Season in Review,” which will be an on-going series, will analyze every single Mets player that picked up a ball or glove in 2011, for better or worse. This particular “2011 Season in Review” will take a look at outfielder Angel Pagan.
No Met, arguably, had a more exciting 2010 season than Angel Pagan. The usually-injured outfielder posted an exceptional .290/.340/.425 line with 11 homeruns, 69 RBI, 80 runs, and 37 stolen bases in 633 plate appearances. In addition to his stellar offense, Pagan also played a dynamic defense. When Carlos Beltran went down with injury, Pagan picked up the slack with a shutdown 13.3 UZR/150 in 792.3 innings. Overall, the 28 year-old owned a 14.9 UZR/150 in 1256.3 innings in all outfield positions combined–which ranked sixth best in baseball (with at least 1000 innings).
Pagan was so good, in fact, that Gold Glove center fielder Carlos Beltran ceded his long-time position to him before the 2011 season. Yes, 2011 would be the beginning of a fruitful, albeit late-blooming career for Angel Pagan. Or would it…
The 29 year-old started the 2011 season off quite poorly, hitting a .159/.259/.246 line in April. Yet before Pagan had the chance to redeem his substandard month, the outfielder fell prey to a nasty oblique injury, knocking him out until late-May. Upon his return, Pagan’s offensive production arrived in full force (.322/.394/.438 line through June 30), but his top-shelf defense was nowhere to be found. The outfielder slumped from being a blackhole to an eye sore. On the season, Pagan posted a dismal -16.1 UZR/150 in 1045 innings in center field, his worse career UZR/150 showing.
Across the boards, Angel Pagan’s 2011 was pretty disappointing. His .262/.322/.372 line was not only far superior to his inspiring 2010 campaign, but also fell short of his career averages (.279/.331/.418). In addition, since Pagan’s saving grace had always been his for-sure glove work, 2011 was particularly troublesome. Looking ahead to 2012, Pagan’s future with the team is a little hazy. As an arbitration eligible player, the Mets also have the option to non-tender him if they feel the outfielder is not worth the $5-6 million he’d potentially earn. In the minds of many, the only way Pagan sticks with orange and blue in 2012 is if the Mets decide the available center field crop isn’t any better than Pagan–which in all likelihood, will buy Angel Pagan another season in New York.