Don't be shellfish...Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+

For a seemingly decent leadoff hitter, Angel Pagan gets very little press.  Fantasypros.com has him ranked 246th overall, ESPN has him as the 156th best hitter.  Both rankings have him placed near players like David Freese, Chris Carter, Adam LaRoche, and Alcides Escobar.

Outside of his injuries, Pagan has been exactly what a leadoff hitter should be: getting on base often and have the potential to steal.  In 2012, his last full season, he ranked 66th in OBP among qualified hitters.  That is above players like Jason Heyward, Ian Desmond, Jason Kipnis, and Adam Jones.  If his 2013 numbers were extrapolated to a full season, he would have ranked 73rd.

Here is a quick look at Pagan’s standardized stats over the past 5 years.  I standardized his counting stats based on the number of PA he made during that season:

Season G H HR R RBI SB CS AVG OBP BABIP BB% K%

2009

88 0.279 0.016 0.144 0.085 0.037 0.019 0.306 0.350 0.349 6.60% 14.90%

2010

151 0.265 0.017 0.126 0.109 0.058 0.014 0.290 0.340 0.331 7.00% 15.30%

2011

123 0.235 0.013 0.128 0.105 0.060 0.013 0.262 0.322 0.285 8.30% 11.70%

2012

154 0.264 0.012 0.144 0.085 0.044 0.011 0.288 0.338 0.329 7.30% 14.70%

2013

71 0.259 0.016 0.144 0.098 0.030 0.013 0.282 0.334 0.307 7.50% 11.80%

This might look like a mess of numbers, but it is very telling.  His average has never dipped below .262, and that occurred when he recorded the second lowest BABIP of his career, over .030 below his career BABIP.  He has also consistently scored runs, doing so once every 6-8 PA, or about every other game.  On top of this, his walk rate has been increasing while his strikeout rate has been decreasing.

As everyone knows, steals don’t age well.  At 32, Pagan has still managed to keep his legs around.  Hopefully his injuries haven’t hampered his abilities.  Here is a graph of the average SB per player by age:

Average-SB-per-Player-by-Age-2009-2013-1024x527

This makes it pretty clear that stolen bases don’t age well.  But this graph accounts for all players, fast and otherwise.  This histogram only shows seasons where a player stole at least 15 bases:

Frequency-of-SB-by-Age-1024x562

While this doesn’t exactly paint fast players in a good light in terms of aging, it does show that Pagan isn’t totally over the hill.  In the past 5 years, there have been 40 players who have stolen at least 15 bases in a season.  Over half of those were in the 32/33 age range.  There is still a good chance Pagan will steal 15 bags.

Over the past 2 years, Pagan has played on a similar level as another leadoff hitter ranked much higher than himself, Desmond Jennings.  Jennings is ranked around the top 100 overall, and ESPN has him listed as the 66th best hitter for 2014.  Here is a comparison of both players last 2 years:

G PA H HR R RBI SB CS AVG OBP SLG WRC+
Jennings 271 1165 257 27 167 101 51 10 0.249 0.324 0.401 105
Pagan 225 964 253 13 139 86 38 11 0.285 0.336 0.427 114

In 45 fewer games, and 200 fewer PA, Pagan is only four hits shy of Jennings.  While Pagan won’t give you the home runs Jennings will, he won’t leave the category completely barren.  Pagan hits for a much better average than Jennings, and maintains a slightly higher OBP too.  Surprisingly, Pagan has a higher slugging percentage than Jennings.  This means that Pagan must not be hitting only singles to get on base, he is supplementing his SLG with doubles and triples.

Pagan is definitely an undervalued player.  He has potential to contribute in 3 categories, while not totally killing you in the other 2.  Of course age is a factor, but Pagan is by no means ancient.  He will be 32 to start the season, which is not over the hump.  His SB numbers might decline, but I see no reason why he won’t hit for average and score a bunch of runs in front of Buster Posey, Pablo Sandoval, Brandon Belt, and “Crazy Eyes” (Hunter Pence).  Of course, all of this depends on whether or not he can stay healthy.  Either way, he is a late round pick, so there is little risk involved, with a good amount of upside.  I’ll give him an 81/8/52/.280/19 line, assuming he plays 145 games.

 

Jeremy is a contributor for Razzball Baseball. He had a last name, but he lost it in ‘Nam.  You can follow the soldier of misfortune on twitter @Jeremy_Razzball, just don’t trigger his flashbacks.

 

From Around The Web

  1. Wallpaper Paterson says:
    (link)

    I defaced a Hunter Pence baseball card. It was his 2013 Topps one, I think. On the front of the card it showed him batting for SF. I circled his crazy eyes and wrote weird stuff on the card. I’ll have to find it tonight and report back with what I wrote.

    That is a weird set of cards. Topps did something really stupid. There is a sentence on the back of the cards and it indicates how far a player is from breaking a certain career mark. The Vicente Padilla card was one of the more ridiculous ones I came across. It may have been Cy Young’s 511 wins. Yeah, sure. Padilla might break Young’s record if he pitches until age 82.

    • de nachos says:
      (link)

      @Wallpaper Paterson: @Wallpaper Paterson: this so far is my favorite comment of the year. So good. Well done. If only cuz Pence went insane and knocked me out of the playoffs last year. Or that the Phils traded him yet he still got a ring. Or that you can quickly recall info on Padilla’s card. Genius.

      • Wallpaper Paterson says:
        (link)

        @de nachos: I am home now and have the info.

        I circled Pence’s eyes and wrote “is clearly crazed” on the front. On the back I wrote, “is a man who wears ladies shoes.” Topps notes that with 516 RBI, Pence is 1,781 away from Hank Aaron’s record.

        The Padilla card indicates that with 108 wins, he is 403 away from Cy Young’s all-time record of 511. I wrote on it, “if he plays to age 93, he might get it done.”

        Josh Reddick’s card states he is 720 homers away from the record.

        Christian Garcia’s card notes he is 1,239 games pitched away from Jesse Orosco’s all-time record of 1,252.

        • Jeremy

          Jeremy says:
          (link)

          @Wallpaper Paterson: Maybe Padilla is the next Jamie Moyer. I love Pence though. He is unconventional in the best kind of way.

          • Montezuma's Revenge... right now says:
            (link)

            @Jeremy: knocked my ass out of playoffs too last year, even though i had 2nd best team overall that week.

  2. J-FOH says:
    (link)

    Does my Twitter avi cause flashbacks?

    • Jeremy

      Jeremy says:
      (link)

      @J-FOH: I didn’t like Apocalypse Now, so no it doesn’t.

      • J-FOH says:
        (link)

        @Jeremy: we are really starting out on a bad foot.

        • Jeremy

          Jeremy says:
          (link)

          @J-FOH: You’ll come to like me in time…they always do…

          • J-FOH says:
            (link)

            @Jeremy: J-FOH is an acronym for Jack Full of Hate

            • Jay

              Jay says:
              (link)

              OR Jill, Foraging Otters Helps

              • Kid A says:
                (link)

                @Jay: Julie – Fists Of Ham

                • Jeremy

                  Jeremy says:
                  (link)

                  @Kid A: Jeremy, Freedom on high

                • J-FOH says:
                  (link)

                  @Kid A: Julio’s Favorite Octogenarian Hooker

                  • Jeremy

                    Jeremy says:
                    (link)

                    @J-FOH: Johnny’s First Oral Hardship

                    • Montezuma's Revenge... right now says:
                      (link)

                      @Jeremy: just F – Off Hoe

  3. NoonTime says:
    (link)

    RCL Epic Beardmen had a flake and now has one opening. See signup sheet for details on how to get in.

    • Jeremy

      Jeremy says:
      (link)

      @NoonTime: I don’t know if I need any more leagues this year, although I’m not in any RCL leagues. But if I join one, everyone will know my strategies!

  4. when Jose Reyes went down (insert any year here), i already had a back-up SS, While looking to get the stats Reyes offers, I discovered Pagan’s stat line is virtually identical. Reyes is a top 5 SS, while you can pick Pagan of the wire.

    • Jeremy

      Jeremy says:
      (link)

      @brent millman: He is a diamond in the rough. I’ll probably have him in most of my leagues.

  5. Ghost of the Disappeared says:
    (link)

    Jeremy: Good Catch. He is a Calhoun with less risk of failure… Nice late BA/SB reserve OFer target

    • Jeremy

      Jeremy says:
      (link)

      @Ghost of the Disappeared: Calhoun is more of a power hitting OF’er. A mini-Granderson with a better average. But yeah, they’ll go for similar prices, and Pagan is proven.

  6. TheNewLeaf says:
    (link)

    There’s a ton of decent speed OF available later on in the draft…Pagan, Aoki, De Aza, Bourn, Gardner…it’s making me believe that it’s best to load up on non OF Power early and draft a few of these guys late for speed. I’ve done several mocks where I closed out my OF early, and was short on speed. Speed is not as prevalent in the MI as it once was, and of course non existent in the corners.

    • stonepie says:
      (link)

      @TheNewLeaf: aoki could be a steal this year. bourn and gardner are going a little to high for me (bourn coming off surgery, gardner hitting 9th) so ill take aoki who’s actually ranked lower on yahoo.
      de aza could be platooned all year which will hurt his value yet pagan is certainly worth a flyer late.

      • Jeremy

        Jeremy says:
        (link)

        @stonepie: I’m taking Aoki in a lot of leagues too. He is very similar to Pagan.

  7. manormachine? says:
    (link)

    Good writeup. Pagan haseven more value outside of traditional 5×5 leagues. There is a very good chance he will be my starting CF while I wait for Springer this year.

    • Jeremy

      Jeremy says:
      (link)

      @manormachine?: Sounds like a good plan. Just watch Springer to make sure he doesn’t go all Aaron Hicks on you.

  8. Al koholic says:
    (link)

    thanks,nice job,love the thought of Aoki,Pagan,Bourn or Gardner as a late grab

    • Jeremy

      Jeremy says:
      (link)

      @Al koholic: Bourn and Gardner have brand names so they might have a larger price tag. Aoki and Pagan are sweet as sugar.

Comments are closed.