January 25, 2013
The Keeper Reaper
Outfielders for 1/25/13
We’re nearing the start of February, which means the fantasy baseball community is starting to ramp up its efforts to prepare for the 2013 season. For its part, a group of industry writers, including our own Derek Carty and Jason Collette, are taking part in a “slow” mock draft, the results of which can be viewed here at David Gonos’ website. I’ve been following the draft the past few days, and one pick that stood out was Derek’s selection of Angel Pagan towards the back-end of round eight at number 116 overall. In a mock draft I participated in a couple of weeks ago, Pagan went much later (no. 170), and he is generally ranked lower than some of the outfielders Derek passed on to take him. Curious, I decided to take a closer look at Pagan.
In his first year as a Giant in 2012, Pagan posted excellent real-life and fantasy numbers. His 4.7 WARP was 17th best in baseball, and his final line was ranked 51st best by the PFM. The Giants rewarded Pagan with a four-year, $40 million dollar contract, and we the fantasy community, well, we’re not as generous. After finally recovering from the injuries and illness of years past, in 2009 at age 28, he finally became an MLB regular and has been fairly consistent since. Typical of his prior seasons, Pagan finished 2012 with a .288 average, eight homers, 29 steals, 95 Runs, and 56 RBI. Nothing too flashy, but as mentioned before, the overall package packs a punch for fantasy purposes.
Pagan will turn 32 during the upcoming season, so time is slowly abandoning his side. His speed and excellent contact abilities are not likely to dramatically vanish however, leaving him capable of batting .270-.280 with 25 steals. Pagan hits mostly line drives but is still capable of putting a 400-foot charge into a baseball to all fields, leaving me unconcerned that his power output is in jeopardy. The Giants lineup is not the most fearsome, but batting atop it still provides Pagan the opportunity to post elite run totals.
All of this evidence justifies Derek’s selection of Pagan at this position over guys like Norichika Aoki and Nick Markakis who might be more coveted. It’s easy for people to never fully buy into a late-bloomer like Pagan, allowing him to become a nice value pick in the 120-140 range.