NY Mets Mount Rushmore of Puerto Rican position players
3) Outfielder Angel Pagan
Though Angel Pagan was a product of the Mets Minor League system, he did not make his MLB debut with the Mets, as he would make his debut as a member of the Chicago Cubs in 2006. Pagan was re-acquired by the Mets before the 2008 season for two minor league players, and he would become a member of the Mets through the 2011 season.
You may be wondering why I had included Pagan on this Mount Rushmore list, as he is not as widely known among casual fans as the previous two players, but there are numerous reasons. First and foremost, Pagan seemed to be one of the only rays of light during the extremely dark times of the Mets from 2009-2011.
When the organization was going through a transition from being one of the highest spending and exciting teams in baseball to predominantly a rebuilding stage, Pagan was one of the few players who brought his A-game to the ballpark day in and day out. Pagan also led the team in WAR during the 2010 season with a 5.3 WAR, which further solidified his value to the Mets at that time.
Pagan became an electric player for the Mets during his tenure both in the batter’s box and on the field defensively. For memories sake how could we forget Pagan making an extraordinary catch in foul territory during the 2008 season in Los Angeles that ended up costing him his entire season? Or how about the phenomenal unassisted triple play he started in center field in 2010?
During his time in Queens, Pagan hit .284/.337/.419 with a .756 OPS. Pagan’s batting average ranks 9th all-time in Mets history. The Rio Piedras native also had 24 home runs to go along with 170 RBI’s during his four seasons with the Mets. Pagan also was very smart on the basepaths and he is just outside the top ten of the franchise’s all-time stolen base leaders with 87 career stolen bases in a Mets uniform.
While it could be argued that trading Pagan to the San Francisco Giants was a mistake, as he became a star during his time in San Francisco while also winning a World Series Ring in 2012, it’s important to not forget his contributions while in New York as he did play a significant role on some not so good ballclubs.