Q&A with Angel Pagan

Mets outfielder Angel Pagan was named as the 2004 Sterling Award Winner for the Binghamton Mets. The award is given out annually to each minor league team Most Valuable Player. Pagan talked to NYFansonly.com before being honored in a pre-game ceremony by the Mets. Find out what Pagan thought of the Shea Stadium clubhouse, how last winter paved the way to his 2004 success and how he will use this winter to get a head start to 2005.

NYF: What are your thoughts on being named as MVP of the Binghamton Mets for 2004?

Angel Pagan: It makes me feel great because I worked real hard for this, and right now I can see it, and feel it paying off for me. I am enjoying this moment getting this award and it is just a great feeling.

NYF: Is being here in Shea today (Sunday)sort of a motivational factor for you?

Angel Pagan: I feel like I am close and right now I can see the way it is here in the major leagues. You can see the real big leagues, and it makes you hungry, it makes you feel that you want to be here, and makes you work harder to not only make the big leagues, but to stay in the big leagues.

NYF: What were your thoughts as you stepped foot into the Mets clubhouse?

Angel Pagan: It was just something different for me. It was my first time in a major league clubhouse I just talked to everybody I could, and they were very nice to me, and overall it was an exciting and good experience for me.

NYF: What did you focus on mostly during the 2004 season?

Angel Pagan: I was working a lot at my hitting, and the offensive part of my game. I think I improved a lot hitting from the left side of the plate. As for as running is concerned I think I was thrown out just three times the whole season, so that is something I am definitely proud of and using to my advantage.

NYF: So you think you made progress this year hitting from the left side of the plate?

Angel Pagan: I actually worked very hard on hitting from the left side this past winter because I knew it was something that had to be improved upon. It got to the point that I even forgot I was a right hand hitter as well, having all that hard work paid off for me this season.

NYF: You were given a brief promotion to Norfolk this season. What differences did you see between the pitching in the two leagues?

Angel Pagan: With the AAA pitchers you see their experience and you see a lot of veteran pitchers who are very smart. They know what you can do, and they will pitch you very tough. In a way, I faced similar type of pitchers when I play winter ball back at Puerto Rico, and I saw many of those same guys. The difference between the AA and AAA pitchers was a big surprise to me, and saw that it is a very tough league, however I believe that experience will help me next season.

NYF: So you will you be playing winter ball this winter?

Angel Pagan: I am playing winter ball in Puerto Rico.

NYF: Do you have anything specific in mind that you will be working on this winter?

Angel Pagan: I will be working on my base running. I want to steal 50 plus bases next season and score 100 runs. Right now that is my goal for next season.

NYF: What would you say is the strongest part of your game so far?

Angel Pagan: That will have to be the use of my legs in stealing bases, scoring runs, bunting. That is a big part of my game and the reason I want to work extra hard on it this winter.

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