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March 22, 2012 posted by Albert Lang

Angel Pagan: 2012 Fantasy Baseball Sleeper

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There’s a lot of love/hate/confusion with Angel Pagan.

The people who love angels hate pagans; and pagans are like totally indifferent toward angels, their existence and whatnot.

Fantasy baseball players don’t have that luxury when dealing with Pagan though.

After his breakout 2010 (.290 with 11 HRs and 37 SBs), Pagan took a major step back in 2011. Battling injuries, he limped to a .262 average and just seven HRs and 32 SBs.

In the offseason, the Mets found him expendable and shipped him out west, by way of the San Francisco Baseball Giants. This will turn out to be a poor decision by the New York Metropolitans.

Pagan has always batted well in the minors and majors and wasn’t that bad last season, aside from a horrid July when nothing was falling: .202 BABIP.  His line drive rate has hovered around 20% the last three seasons and was 24% last year. In addition, his swinging strike percentage last season was under 5% and he didn’t chase a lot of balls out of the zone, yet his BABIP was .285, whereas it was .331 in 2010 and .349 in 2009. He has a career .314 BABIP.

In 2012, he will be a .290 hitter with 10 HRs and 40 SBs for the Giants, yet he is going behind the likes of Nick Markakis, David Freese, Justin Morneau, Stephen Drew, Adam Lind, Mark Trumbo and others.

Just two years ago, the older version of Pagan, Andres Torres, hit .268/.343/.479 with 16 HRs and 26 SBs. Pagan will best him in average and SBs and fall short in power. However, hitting in front of Pablo Sandoval and Buster Posey should edge Pagan close to 90 runs. With the trade, he has become a nifty three-category contributor with a solid chance to help in HRs (he has upside to 15-20 bombs).

As the 40th or so outfielder off the board, Pagan will provide good value with a bit of upside. He’s a solid #3 OF type.

Albert has been playing and arguing about baseball and fantasy sports since 2002. Since 1982, he has also been largely miserable (here’s looking at you Armando Benitez) because of the Orioles and Eagles. Albert has won leagues and lost leagues, but he has the most fun debating player values. Albert typically plays in several baseball and football leagues a year. He also is an avid baseball card collector and writes about older players and their historical value relative to the Hall of Fame and their peers/current players. When not harassing league mates with trades and analyzing what categories his team performs poorly in, Albert is a communications professional in Washington, D.C. Follow Albert on Twitter @h2h_corner. He has an awesome puppy named Charlotte. You can find all of Albert's work at http://h2hcorner.wordpress.com/.
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