Scouting Mets' Prospect #25: Angel Pagan

The New York Mets drafted outfielder Angel Pagan with their 4th round pick in the 1999 draft out of high school in Puerto Rico. Once considered a five-tool talent, Pagan has become a well rounded player for the Mets. It's this reason that Pagan ranks #25 on our Top 50 Mets' Prospects list.

Vital Statistics:
Name: Angel Pagan
Position: Center Field
DOB: July 2, 1981
Height: 6'1"
Weight: 180
Bats: Both
Throws: Right

Despite not playing much organized sports as a youngster, not even playing baseball for his high school team in Puerto Rico, Angel Pagan was noticed by some scouts at the tryouts and All-Star games. In fact, many scouts saw Pagan as having raw, five-tool talent and a sure-fire first round pick. Many of the pundits thought he would eventually hit 20+ home runs as professional down the road and after he slipped in the '99 draft, the Mets jumped on him in the fourth round but signed him in May of 2000 as a draft-and-follow.

Even though Pagan had some really good raw power and projected to hit a lot of home runs eventually, the Mets had Pagan begin working on his small ball skills when he made his professional debut with the Kingsport Mets back in 2000. Blessed with tremendous speed, Pagan began focusing on hitting more ground balls (especially from the left side of the plate) and going away with pitches, thus ending his progression as a potential power hitter. Pagan made a little bit of a splash in 19 short games for the K-Mets and was promoted to the low-A South Atlantic League in 2001 to start off the year. Used more as a fourth outfielder for the Bombers, Pagan was sent back down to Brooklyn that same year to hone his skills for the Cyclones. Pagan made his first good impression while batting leadoff and playing center field for the Cyclones, earning his first All-Star selection after hitting .315 and stealing 30 bases.

Pagan, who has played Winter League baseball in Puerto Rico each offseason during his professional career, used his tremendous 2001 campaign for the Cyclones as a springboard for his return trip to Capital City in 2002. Armed with a new sense of confidence, Pagan collected 128 hits for the Bombers and stole a career-high 52 bases. Still, his prevailing goal at the time was to perfect his swing from the left side of the plate. "It was tough", said Pagan. "I had to put a lot of time. Most of the time I was hitting lefty. It got to the point where I even forgot about hitting righty. Every time I was in the field I was practicing my left handed swing and in winter ball I only batted from the left side of the plate", Pagan told NYfansonly.com earlier in the year. Pagan showed he was ready to make the jump in 2003 to the Florida State League.

2003 was a bittersweet year for Angel Pagan. Despite the St. Lucie Mets winning the Florida State League Championship, Pagan had one of his worst seasons, hitting a career-low .249 and seeing his stolen base success rate dip down to 70%. Pagan took his own individual numbers and challenged himself last offseason to get even better so he could rebound in 2004. "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", Pagan told us back in September. Paid off it did for Pagan as he had one of his best all-around seasons, including hitting a career-high four home runs for the Binghamton Mets and helping them to the Eastern League playoffs. Pagan was rewarded in 2004 as the Sterling Award Winner as the Minor League Player of the Year for Binghamton. "It makes me feel great because I worked real hard for this, and right now I can see it paying off," said Pagan. "I am enjoying this moment, getting this award, and it is just a great feeling for me."

Year

Team

AVG.

AB

Hits

HR

RBI

R

SB

BB

K

OBP

SLG

2004

Norfolk

.289

45

13

0

1

13

4

4

8

.347

.489

2004

Binghamton

.287

449

129

4

63

71

29

42

96

.346

.405

2003

St. Lucie

.249

441

110

1

33

64

35

35

80

.307

.313

2002

St. Lucie

.343

67

23

1

7

12

10

7

9

.405

.448

2002

Capital City

.279

458

128

1

36

79

52

32

87

.325

.338

2001

Capital City

.298

57

17

0

5

4

3

6

5

.365

.351

2001

Brooklyn

.315

238

75

0

15

46

30

22

30

.401

.374

2000

Kingsport

.361

72

26

0

8

13

6

6

8

.410

.458


* Stats as of 10/1/04

Batting and Power. Once considered to project as a power-hitting, right-handed batter, Pagan has carved himself into the complete package offensively. Still not putting up big power numbers, Pagan is a very balanced hitter. He has worked tirelessly to improve at the plate as a lefty, and he has. He's an extremely good bunter and can bunt for quite a few base hits. Pagan is a much better hitter with men on base and even better with runners in scoring position. So despite his speed, Pagan looks to be better suited farther down in the lineup. Pagan, still just 23 years old, could still hit for more power. Hitting ten home runs annually is certainly not out of the question. He has the look of a .280-.290 type of hitter.

Base Running and Speed. Pagan can flat out fly. Prior to the drafting of Lastings Milledge in 2003, Pagan was perhaps the second fastest player in the system behind Wayne Lydon. He's a game changer, plain and simple. Opposing pitchers are worried about allowing him on base and when he does get on base, Pagan draws a lot attention and distracts the pitcher. Despite having great speed, Pagan has gotten caught stealing a few times in his career. He made a huge leap in his success rate from 2002 to 2004 so he has gotten much better.

Defense. With his speed, Pagan has very good range in the outfield. He also has a very good arm and is able to play all three outfield positions. Pagan plays a shallow outfield but is able to run down almost everything hit in his general direction. He has spent most of his career alternating with Wayne Lydon between left field and center field. And like Lydon, Pagan's outstanding defense is just too good to ignore as a strong asset for the Mets someday.

Projection. The progression of Pagan's game has been an intriguing one to say the least. Once only comfortable as a right-handed batter, Pagan has become incredibly comfortable on the left side of the plate and is one of the better switch hitters in the Mets system. Right now he projects as a solid fourth outfielder for the Mets. However, he still has some raw, untapped power potential that could propel him into a possible starting outfielder. Chances are he'll break in with the Mets as a valuable bench player with the potential to surprise people if given the opportunity to start. Remember, he's a clutch hitter so he should not be underestimated.

ETA. 2006. Pagan finished the year at AAA-Norfolk and that's where he'll begin the 2005 season. He could most likely earn a September call-up to the Mets next season with a very strong shot as the Mets fourth or fifth outfielder by 2006.

Outfielders

2004 Team

Victor Diaz

AAA - Norfolk Tides

Prentice Redman

AAA - Norfolk Tides

Jeff Duncan

AA - Binghamton Mets

Angel Pagan AA - Binghamton Mets
Wayne Lydon AA - Binghamton Mets
Ron Acuna AA - Binghamton Mets
Bobby Malek AA - Binghamton Mets
Alhaji Turay A - St. Lucie Mets
Jonathan Slack A - St. Lucie Mets
Joseph Jiannetti A - St. Lucie Mets
Lastings Milledge A - Capital City Bombers
Jamar Hill A - Capital City Bombers
Ryan Harvey A - Capital City Bombers
Rashad Parker A - Capital City Bombers
Caleb Stewart A - Capital City Bombers
Ambiorix Concepcion A - Brooklyn Cyclones
Corey Coles A - Brooklyn Cyclones
Dante Brinkley A - Brooklyn Cyclones
Derran Watts A - Brooklyn Cyclones
Seith Pietsch R - Kingsport Mets
Carlos Gomez R - Kingsport Mets
Joshua Wyrick R - Kingsport Mets
Jesus Gamero R - Kingsport Mets
Horace Lawrence R - Kingsport Mets
Cory Wells R - Gulf Coast Mets
Brahiam Maldonado R - Gulf Coast Mets
Parris Austin R - Gulf Coast Mets
Miguel Garcia R - Gulf Coast Mets


Comments

Two years ago, the Mets were really devoid of any real threat in the outfield among their prospects. They currently have a handful of legitimate outfield prospects, players that could become full-time starters at the Major League level. While Victor Diaz and Prentice Redman are the closest to the Major Leagues, Lastings Milledge, Jamar Hill, and Ambiorix Concepcion give the Mets a very athletic look in the future. The Mets could have a very, very good outfield down the road.

1) Victor Diaz - AAA-Norfolk Tides - Diaz, making the switch from second base to right field in 2004, looked pretty comfortable in the field and at the plate. There's never been a question about his bat (he has won two minor league battle titles), just his attitude and defense. It will be interesting to see if the Mets make the commitment to Diaz in their outfield after a very good AAA debut in 2004, or use him as a trading piece for an established Major League talent.

2) Prentice Redman - AAA-Norfolk Tides - Redman does a little bit of everything well. He can run, hit, hit for power, and possesses speed. The problem is he doesn't any one of them very well. His future at the Major League level is as a reserve outfielder.

3) Jeff Duncan - AA-Binghamton Mets - Once patrolling centerfield for the Mets, Duncan was demoted all the way down to AA this past season. With Cameron tied up for the next two seasons, and with Milledge right behind him (or ahead of him in many ways), Duncan needs a change of scenery with a new organization.

4) Angel Pagan - AA-Binghamton Mets - Pagan is developing into a very good reserve-type outfielder that can play all three outfield positions and can hit at the top or bottom of the lineup. He make very good contact at the plate, has excellent speed, a good arm, and brings good enthusiasm into the clubhouse.

5) Wayne Lydon - AA -Binghamton Mets - Lydon is all about the speed. With 227 stolen bases the last three seasons, Lydon's a light-hitting defensive player that has a knack for the stolen bases. His ticket to the Majors is as a defensive replacement and pinch-runner.

6) Bobby Malek - AA-Binghamton Mets - There's a reason the Mets made Malek their 4th round selection in the 2002 draft. Malek is a very good defensive player that possesses a rare combination of power and speed. After struggling last season after elbow surgery, Malek regained his college form in 2004, hitting 14 home runs and stealing 15 bases. Malek still has the potential to be a starting outfielder at the Major League level. 2005 could be a breakout year for Malek.

7) Ronald Acuna - AA - Binghamton Mets - A very good contact hitter and excellent defensive player, Acuna's lack of power is his downfall as a prospect. He has just 5 HRs in his last 1,441 minor league at-bats. He's a 4th or 5th outfielder at the Major League level.

8) Joseph Jiannetti - A-St. Lucie Mets - Originally drafted as a 3B, the Mets moved him to 2B back in 2002 and then moved him to the outfield in 2004. Jiannetti is a nice hitter with decent pop. He's got the potential to be a reserve outfielder or as a possible utility player.

9) Jonathan Slack - A-St. Lucie Mets - Slack is a good defensive centerfielder much in the same mold as Lydon. Good defensively, decent hitter, great speed, and not much power. He's got the look of a possible reserve outfielder.

10) Alhaji Turay - A - St. Lucie Mets - The talent is there. A good defensive player, Turay has big time power potential and excellent speed. He has 30-30 potential and is easily one of the Mets' best run producing prospects....WHEN HEALTHY! Turay has to put together a full, healthy season before he becomes an elite prospect, but he does have that kind of talent.

11) Jamar Hill - A - Capital City Bombers - Hill, with 26 HRs & 20 SBs in 2004, had a breakout season this past year and showing the promise he displayed in Kingsport back in 2002. If he can duplicate the same success at St. Lucie in 2005, Hill could make that leap into one of the better outfield prospects in all of baseball.

12) Lastings Milledge - A- Capital City Bombers - Already considered the Mets' top prospect after the Mets trade Scott Kazmir, Milledge had a very good first year of long-season baseball. Milledge does it all: power, speed, defense, hitting, etc. He strikes out a bit too much, but could learn more selectivity as he matures. Easily the top outfield prospect for the Mets!

13) Ryan Harvey - A - Capital City Bombers - Harvey certainly gets overlooked by many despite being a very solid outfielder. Harvey, the Bombers' lone All-Star in '04, does a little bit of everything. Currently, he has the look of a reserve outfielder at the Major League level but he could be a late bloomer much in the same manner Jason Bay was. He's one to keep an eye on.

14) Rashad Parker - A - Capital City Bombers - Parker's a defensive and speed replacement at the minor league level. There's no reason to expect anything else.

15) Caleb Stewart - A - Capital City Bombers - Stewart is a big kid that moves very well. He has a very good batting eye and decent power. He could develop into a Major League starting outfielder down the road.

16) Ambiorix Concepcion - A - Brooklyn Cyclones - The player formerly known as Roberto Solano, Concepcion is a five-tool talent that has the raw ability to be an elite outfield prospect for the Mets. Voted by Baseball America as the top prospect in the NY-Penn League this year, Concepcion reminds scouts of Vladmir Guerrero at the same point in development.

17) Corey Coles - A - Brooklyn Cyclones - Coles had a tremendous start to the 2004 season for Brooklyn and then had a disasterous finish. At 23, he's going to have to have some success at higher levels before we get too excited about him.

18) Dante Brinkley - A - Brooklyn Cyclones - Brinkley is a nice player that can do a little bit of everything. He has the look of a future reserve outfielder.

19) Derran Watts - A - Brooklyn Cyclones - Has more speed than Brinkley, a better arm, and is better defensively. But has a long way to go to become legit outfield prospect.

20) Carlos Gomez - R - Kingsport Mets - Gomez was a wide-eyed 18-year old kid playing rookie ball this past season, but has the raw talent to be a special prospect. He's got a cannon for an arm, good batting eye, and developing power. He could be atop this list next year along with Lastings Milledge and Jamar Hill as the Mets' best outfield prospects.

21) Seth Pietsch - R - Kingsport Mets - A little old for the Appy League, Pietsch is a strong kid with good power and speed. He needs to show some success at the higher levels.

22) Joshua Wyrick - R - Kingsport Mets - Wyrick, an 11th round pick in the 2004 draft, had a decent professional debut. He's a speedster with great range.

23) Jesus Gamero - R - Kingsport Mets - Has an excellent batting eye and developing power.

Amazin Clubhouse Top Stories