I. Angel Pagan came to the plate in 93 double play situations in 2011. He grounded into four double plays. Overall, he maintained a 1.3% double play rate, which — surprise, surprise — ranks as the 17th lowest mark among MLB hitters with 500+ plate appearances last year. The average MLB player, given 93 chances to ground into a double play, would have grounded into nine.
II. By EqBRR, Angel Pagan has been worth +13.3 runs on the basepaths over the past couple seasons. Now, he’s obviously a speedy baserunner. He’s stolen 30+ bases in each of the last two seasons, and he’s done so at an 81% success rate. That’s not an outstanding success rate, but it’s good enough such that the value of his steals outweighs the cost of his occasional caught-stealings. But he’s also good at the stuff that isn’t so obvious. He’s good at going from first to third on a single. He’s good at advancing on the basepaths on a groundout. He’s good at tagging up on a flyout. And that adds up. In fact, he was so valuable on the basepaths in 2010 that he ranked second in the majors in EqBRR at +9.3 runs, right behind Michael Bourn.
IV. In 2011, Angel Pagan had an opponent RPA+ of 93, which was the lowest mark in the majors among players with 500+ plate appearances. This means that opponents were 7% worse than average against the pitchers Pagan had to face; or to put it another way, no hitter in the majors faced tougher pitching than Pagan, on average. As a New York Met, he had to see a lot of Cole Hamels, Roy Halladay, Jair Jurrjens, Tim Hudson, Josh Johnson, et al. That skewed his numbers.
In case you can’t tell at this point, I like Angel Pagan. A lot. Perhaps too much. There are certainly reasons to worry about Pagan. If you’re looking for reasons, here are 20 (courtesy of Baseball Prospectus).
But I’m feeling quite good about him.