05 April, 2006

MLB debut: Angel Pagan

Angel Pagan debuted on opening day, 3 April for the Chicago Cubs in their 16-7 victory at Cincinnati. He entered game for the Cubs in 5th inning as part of a double switch and went 2 for 3 with 2 runs scored and an RBI.

Pagan was born and grew up in Puerto Rico, but briefly attended junior college in the 'States. He was drafted by the New York Mets in the 4th round of the 1999 amateur draft as an 18 year old and progressed steadily up the Mets' system.

It's probably too easy to categorise Pagan as a "toolsy outfielder", but that is pretty much what he is. Pagan stole 163 bases in just over 500 Minor League games. However, his career OBP is .334 which is just not good enough for a guy with such speed and little power. Scouts say he's developed gap power, but the stats don't really back that up.

Pagan became an extra with New York after two seasons at AAA Norfolk and was dropping off people's prospect lists. Just when it looked like he might become an organisational player, the Cubs stepped up and purchased his contract in January 2006.

He made the club after a breakout spring going 381/417/833 in 42 at bats. He poked 5 homers and that probably secured his spot as a role player in the Cubbies outfield.


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