What's Wrong With Angel Pagan?

Joe FiorelloCorrespondent ISeptember 11, 2009

CHICAGO - AUGUST 28: Angel Pagan #16 of the New York Mets follows the flight of the ball against the Chicago Cubs on August 28, 2009 at Wrigley Field in Chicago, Illinois. The Cubs defeated the Mets 5-2.  (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

Angel Pagan’s production has far exceeded expectations this season.  He’s batting .313 in 67 starts with 6 home runs and 28 RBI mostly hitting out of the lead off spot.  He’s played mostly solid defense in center field while filling in for one of the best center fielders in the game in Carlos Beltran.  He’s been one of the few bright spots on the team this season.

However there is one glaring problem with Angel Pagan.  A problem you’d more expect from a little leaguer, not a major leaguer.  A problem that may explain why a guy that can produce the way Pagan has this season has never earned a starting job.

Angel Pagan’s head does not seem to be in the game.

It seems that almost on a nightly basis recently, Pagan makes some sort of bone head play on the base paths.  Most recently last night, Pagan made two outs on base.

The first came when he was thrown out trying to advance from second to third on a ball hit to the short stop.

The second came when he was doubled up at second base advancing on a fly ball thinking there were two outs.

It’s more of a shame because these mistakes came on a night Pagan went 3 for 4 extending a 10-game hitting streak.

For the season, Pagan has made a total of 13 outs on base.  He’s been caught stealing eight times.  Five times at second base, twice at third base, and once at home.  He’s been picked off twice, picked off caught stealing once, and made two other outs on base total.

I can’t help but think that Carlos Beltran’s return may be putting some extra pressure on Pagan, causing him to lose focus as he worries about his playing time.  It’s no excuse for not knowing how many outs there are in an inning, but it has to be weighing on him in some way.

If he can continue his production at the plate, and limit the stupid mistakes on the base paths, I think he has a future as a reserve outfielder on this team.  If the Mets don’t pick up a big bat left fielder in the off season, he may even wind up being the every day guy there.

It’s intriguing to think of the top of the line up with Pagan, Reyes, Wright, and Beltran all in the line up at the same time.

This article can also be read on Disgruntled Mets Fan


The latest in the sports world, emailed daily.