Fallen Angel

Angel Pagan of the New York MetsOnly a week ago, many of us were excited by the hot hitting of Angel Pagan. He was scorching the ball, hitting close enough to .500 to remind us of spring training stars such as Butch Huskey and Darren Reed.

However, it appears now that Angel has fallen to Earth.

Pagan is now down to .333, more than 100 points less than this time last week. We can say that it’s merely a minor slump, a few bad bounces, a bit of poor luck — after all, he has only 60 at-bats, so of course his average will drop drastically after going, say, 2 for his last 17.

In reality, it’s more like this: Angel Pagan is regressing to the mean, to his true capability.

For the first part of March, Pagan was “in the zone”, and it was fun to watch. But it wasn’t something that was going to continue forever. I still hope he will make the team, though I have a feeling Brady Clark will get that last roster spot. But it’s now clear why the Mets were looking for an outfielder, even though they seemingly already had one ripping the cover off the ball.

Joe Janish began MetsToday in 2005 to provide the unique perspective of a high-level player and coach -- he earned NCAA D-1 All-American honors as a catcher and coached several players who went on to play pro ball. As a result his posts often include mechanical evaluations, scout-like analysis, and opinions that go beyond the numbers. Follow Joe's baseball tips on Twitter at @onbaseball and at the On Baseball Google Plus page.
  1. isuzudude March 21, 2008 at 8:30 am
    I agree it will be Clark getting the nod to go north over Pagan after ST, if only because Pagan has options. I would say both have performed nicely this spring – one no more drastically than the other – and both offer about the same type of skills and have pretty even projections for the regular season. So, if I’m Omar, why take Pagan and take the chance of Clark refusing a minor league assignment and becoming a free agent, when I can take Clark, send Pagan to the minors with no worries, and make a switch if Clark winds up hitting .125 over the first 2-3 weeks of the season? Additionally, let Pagan tear up the minors, increase his trade value, and spin him off for a more reliable right-hand hitting 1B/OF. That would be my plan.
  2. joe March 21, 2008 at 8:56 am
    Agreed 100%.
  3. sincekindergarten March 21, 2008 at 10:01 am
    And, Joe, didin’t you write something about Clark being the third catcher? I know that he got a 1B glove, to which Willie said, “That’s smart,” or words to that effect.
  4. joe March 21, 2008 at 10:58 am
    Yes, Clark *might* be considered an emergency catcher, but not technically a third catcher. He has yet to catch a professional inning.

    I’d imagine (and hope) that Brady will make himself as versatile as he can.