Ángel Pagán

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Ángel Pagán
Ángel Pagán on May 14, 2013.jpg
Tenure with the San Francisco Giants
San Francisco Giants – No. 16
Outfielder
Born: (1981-07-02) July 2, 1981 (age 33)
Rio Piedras, Puerto Rico
Bats: Switch Throws: Right
MLB debut
April 3, 2006 for the Chicago Cubs
Career statistics
(through June 5, 2014)
Batting average .284
Hits 824
Home runs 49
Runs batted in 312
Stolen bases 144
On-base percentage .336
Teams
Career highlights and awards

Ángel Manuel Pagán[1] (born July 2, 1981) is a Puerto Rican professional baseball outfielder for the San Francisco Giants of Major League Baseball. Raised in Rio Piedras, Puerto Rico, he began playing baseball at age six. Pagán's original contract in Major League Baseball was with the New York Mets, but he was transferred to the Chicago Cubs when they bought his contract. Pagán was subsequently traded back to the Mets prior to the 2008 season. On December 5, 2011, he was traded to the San Francisco Giants for Andrés Torres and Ramón Ramírez. Pagán was given the nickname "El Caballo Loco" (Spanish for "Crazy Horse") by his Mets teammates.[2]

Early life[edit]

Ángel Manuel Pagán was born and raised in Rio Piedras, Puerto Rico. His mother, Gloria, was a fan of baseball and played in a men's fastpitch softball league.[3] The family lived in a crowded apartment with his brother and sister, and the energetic Pagán did not have space to run. His mother hoped to direct Pagán's high level of energy into a constructive outlet, and encouraged the child to play the sport.[3] He joined a tee ball team at age six, and continued playing throughout childhood. Baseball helped him avoid the dangers of his neighborhood; he recalls, "It was tough to come out of that place a good person. Selling drugs or something. It was a bad neighborhood. A lot of my friends couldn't survive that world. But [my mother] made me strong enough to forget about that path and go to the positive one."[3] He also developed interests in basketball and boxing, "But there was something about baseball," he said. "I fell in love with the sport."[3]

The Mets showed early interest, making him their 4th round pick in the 1999 Amateur draft. After failing to come to terms, Pagan played ball at Indian River State College in Florida, eventually coming to terms with the Mets the day before they would have lost signing rights. He spent 5 seasons in the Mets farm system before the Chicago Cubs acquired him.[4]

Ángel Pagán
Ángel Pagán on March 17, 2013.jpg
Pagán with the Puerto Rico national team in 2013 World Baseball Classic
Medal record
Representing  Puerto Rico
Men’s Baseball
World Baseball Classic
Silver 2013 San Francisco Team

Professional career[edit]

Chicago Cubs[edit]

2006[edit]

On January 25, 2006, the Cubs purchased Pagán's contract from the Mets. Pagán made his major league debut with the Cubs on April 3, 2006, but was injured early in the season and missed two and a half months. On July 2, 2006, his 25th birthday, Pagán hit his first and second career home runs in a game against the crosstown rival Chicago White Sox. Pagán is the first person in Major League history to hit his first two career home runs on his birthday.

Pagán playing for the Chicago Cubs in 2007

2007[edit]

Pagán returned in May 2007, being recalled in place of Matt Murton, who had struggled somewhat and was not getting regular at-bats. Pagán then became a regular outfielder and enjoyed modest success until his season was cut short due to a bout with colitis. On June 2, 2007, Pagán was called out at third base trying to move up after a wild pitch, which led to Lou Piniella's most infamous meltdown.

Pagán had lost a considerable amount of weight and strength due to illness. Chicago general manager Jim Hendry was afraid Pagán would not be ready to start the 2008 season on time, thus prompting the trade to New York.

New York Mets[edit]

2008[edit]

On January 5, 2008, Pagán returned to the Mets in a trade for two minor-league players. He began the year as the starting left fielder for the Mets because Moisés Alou was injured and on the disabled list.[5] When Alou returned from the DL in May, he took over the starting job in left field from Pagán.

On May 7, 2008, Pagán made a spectacular catch in foul territory, falling into the stands, in Los Angeles against the Dodgers while playing left field. Although he originally stayed in the game, Pagán was later removed with left shoulder pain. The injury eventually caused Pagán to be placed on the disabled list. Pagán was undergoing rehabilitation in the GCL and was expected to be on the active roster after the All-Star break. However, he left a rehab start with the Brooklyn Cyclones feeling pain when batting from the right side. Pagán had season-ending surgery on his shoulder on July 29, 2008.[6]

2009[edit]

On June 1, 2009, Pagán was placed on the 15-Day DL with a right groin strain. The next day, the Mets activated 2B Alex Cora to fill Pagán's spot on the roster. On August 1, 2009, Pagán hit a grand slam for his first home run since mid-2007 and first for the New York Mets, leading to the win over the Arizona Diamondbacks. On August 5, 2009, he went 3-for-4 against the Cardinals, with a home run, triple, and single, missing the cycle by just a double. On August 23, 2009, he hit 2 home runs (one of which was inside the park) against Pedro Martinez and the Philadelphia Phillies.

On October 4, 2009, Pagán went four-for-four against the Houston Astros, falling a home run shy of a cycle.

2010[edit]

Pagán during his tenure with the New York Mets in 2010

Pagán was not the 2010 Opening Day center fielder (the nod went to newly acquired Gary Matthews, Jr.), despite making a strong case in 2009. Due to Matthew's poor performance, Pagán shortly found himself back in the starting lineup and quickly established himself as a quality everyday player.

On May 19, 2010, Pagán started a triple play from center field in the 5th inning against the Washington Nationals on a ball hit by Cristian Guzman. He hit an inside-the-park home run in the same game, the first in Nationals Park history. On June 22. 2010, Pagán fell one home run short of a cycle.

With the return of Carlos Beltran as the starting center fielder on July 15, 2010, Pagán became the starting right fielder for the Mets, replacing Jeff Francoeur. He finished the year batting .290, with 11 home runs and 69 RBI. He had 168 base hits in 579 at bats on the season. He hit 31 doubles, 7 triples and stole 37 bases. His first career hit by a pitch came on September 4, 2010, against the Chicago Cubs. All facets of Pagán's game improved in 2010, most notably his ability to make smart decisions while running the bases.

2011[edit]

With the uncertainty of Beltran's health as well as his range, the speedy Pagán was inserted into the starting center fielder position for the 2011 season. Beltran was moved over to right field by manager Terry Collins.

He was placed on the DL on April 21, 2011, due to a rib injury. On May 27, 2011, he came back from the DL as the club sent down Fernando Martínez and DFA'd Pat Misch and they brought up Dale Thayer. For the season, on defense he led all major league center fielders in errors, with 10, and had the lowest fielding percentage, at .968. On July 20, Pagán hit a 10th-inning walk-off home run off the railing of the second deck (named the Pepsi Porch in Citi Field) against closer Fernando Salas to help the Mets win 6-5 over the St. Louis Cardinals.

On December 7, 2011, he was traded to the San Francisco Giants for Andrés Torres and Ramón Ramírez.[7]

San Francisco Giants[edit]

2012[edit]

On January 16, 2012, Pagán signed a one-year deal with the San Francisco Giants worth $4.85 million to avoid his final year of arbitration. He will earn an additional $50,000 for 550, 600 and 650 plate appearances. Therefore, he could earn $5 million if he reaches 650 plate appearances.[8]

Pagán holds the Giants record for a home hitting streak at 28 games.[9] This breaks Mike Donlin's record of 26 consecutive home games with at least one hit from 1905-1906, back when the team was in New York. On September 15, 2012, Pagán broke the San Francisco Giants record for the most triples in a season, with 13. He finished the regular season with 15 triples,[9] which led the National League in triples. Pagan finished 32nd in NL MVP voting; his teammate Buster Posey won it. In 2012, Pagán was vital to the Giants reaching the 2012 World Series and was the lead-off hitter for the Giants throughout most of the postseason.

On December 3, Pagán signed a 4-year $40 million contract with San Francisco, pending a physical examination.[10] The contract became official on December 7, 2012.[11]

2013[edit]

On May 25, 2013, Pagán hit a walk-off inside-the-park home run off of Colorado Rockies' reliever Rafael Betancourt. It was the third inside-the-park home run of Pagán's career.

On June 20, 2013, after going on the 15-day disabled list on May 28, Pagán was on rehab assignment with the Class-A Advanced San Jose Giants against the Stockton Ports when he re-injured his left hamstring.

On June 25, 2013, Pagán underwent surgery to repair a torn tendon in his left hamstring, and he did not join the Giants again until August 30, missing 82 games.[12]

International career[edit]

Pagán was part of the Puerto Rico national baseball team during the 2013 World Baseball Classic. He led the team to the Finals, were they lost against Dominican Republic. Pagán finished the tournament with a batting average of .364 (12-33) to lead his team.[13]

Personal[edit]

Pagán has a wife, Windy, and two daughters: Briana and Suil Angelina.[14][15]

On May 7, 2009, Pagán was arrested in Port St. Lucie, Florida for traffic violations. It was reported that Pagán, who was driving with a suspended license, was originally stopped for speeding, but after a license check, troopers learned Pagán has several warrants out for his arrest for failure to pay traffic fines.[16]

References[edit]

  1. ^ @beisbolporgotas, Twitter
  2. ^ McCullough, Andy (June 1, 2010). "Healthy Angel Pagan has grown into a vital cog for Mets". The Star-Ledger. Retrieved June 28, 2010. 
  3. ^ a b c d Haft, Chris (May 11, 2012). "'Manager' mom major influence on Pagan". SFGiants.com. Major League Baseball. 
  4. ^ Ángel Pagán
  5. ^ Marty Noble (January 5, 2008). "Mets deal two Minor Leaguers for Pagan". Major League Baseball. Retrieved January 5, 2008. 
  6. ^ Cohen, Jay (July 24, 2008). "Delgado’s big hit puts Mets alone in first place". Associated Press. Retrieved July 24, 2008. 
  7. ^ Haft, Chris (December 7, 2011). "Giants snag Pagan in trade with Mets". MLB.com. Retrieved December 7, 2011. 
  8. ^ Associated Press (Ronald Blum) (January 16, 2012). "San Francisco Giants reportedly reach 1-year deal with Angel Pagan". ESPN. 
  9. ^ a b Search Results for: ‘angel pagan’: Giants Photos - Angel Pagan
  10. ^ Haft, Chris (December 3, 2012). "Giants retain sparkplug Pagan with four-year deal". Retrieved December 5, 2012. 
  11. ^ "Pagan and Scutaro finalize deals with Giants". TSN.ca. December 7, 2012. Retrieved December 8, 2012. 
  12. ^ "Angel Pagan 2013 Season in Review". 
  13. ^ Torraca, Hiram (March 20, 2013). "Angel Pagán: 'he sido bendecido'". El Nuevo Día. 
  14. ^ "Al pelotero Ángel Pagán le apasiona su familia". Primera Hora. January 7, 2012. 
  15. ^ Martino, Andy (September 20, 2010). "In midst of career year, daughter's illness provides added focus for New York Mets' Angel Pagan". Daily News. 
  16. ^ News: Pagan Arrested Mets Blog

External links[edit]