Angel Anthony Pagan was born July 2, 1981 in Rio Piedra,Puerto Rico. Pagan was originally signed by the New York Mets in the fourth round of the 1999 draft. In 2001 he led the New York Penn. League in stolen bases with 30 (tied) while playing for the Brooklyn Cyclones. In Brooklyn he hit .315 making the All Star team & being ranked the #16 prospect in the league by Baseball America.
In 2002 he stole 52 bases while batting .279 with the A ball, St. Lucie Mets. The next season he struggled, but rebounded in 2004 at AA Binghamton, batting .288 with 29 stolen bases only getting thrown out five times. In 2005 he hit ten triples, stole 27 bases & batted .271 while playing outfield for the AAA Norfolk Tides. He did not get a call up to the Mets team & that off season had his contract bought out by the Chicago Cubs.
He made the Cubs squad in 2006, but an injury early on shut him down until the end of June. On July 2nd he became the first player in MLB history to hit his first two career HRs on his own birthday. The HRs came against the cross town rival Chicago White Sox during interleague play. In 77 games on the season, he hit .247 with 5 HRs 18 RBIs & four stolen bases. In 2007 he became the Cubs everyday outfielder but he suffered from colitis & his season was cut short once again. In 71 games he batted .264 with 4 HRs 10 doubles four stolen bases & 21 RBIs. In January of 2008, the Cubs traded him back to the New York Mets for two minor leaguers.
After a good Spring Training in 2008, he earned a spot in left field filling in for the injured Moises Alou. Pagan was in the Opening Day lineup batting 6th & playing left field. He hit a double & drove in a run in the Mets 7-2 win at Florida. He had a hot start, hitting safely in eleven of his first twelve games, driving in runs in seven of them. On April 10th his 12th inning base hit off the Phillie Tom Gordon was a walk off win for New York. In mid May he caught a foul ball jumping & landing in the seats at Dodger Stadium. A few days later he ended up on the DL, and then reinjured himself while attempting to make a return. He needed shoulder surgery was shut down for the rest of the season. He finished up the year with a .275 average no HRs seven doubles, no steals & 13 RBIs in only 31 games played.
In 2009 he started out the season on the DL with bone spurs, joining the team in mid May. In his third game back, he had a four hit game in Los Angeles & then got on a hot streak. Pagan was batting .325 after two weeks upon his return, but then pulled a groin muscle and missed the next month and a half of action. He returned on July 10th & stayed in the lineup for the rest of the year due to all the team injures.
On August 1st he hit a grand slam HR, helping the Mets beat the Arizona Diamondbacks 9-6 at Citi Field. During that week he hit another HR & had a three hit, four RBI day against the St. Louis Cardinals. On August 23rd, he hit an inside the park HR at Philadelphia & then another over the fence, against former Mets pitcher, Pedro Martinez.
Pagan got his average to .294 by the end of the month. He went on ten game hit streak & had thirteen multiple hit games that September. He finished the year leading the team in triples (10) batting .306 with 22 doubles 14 stolen bases & 32 RBIs. He played a solid defense as well, making only two errors in the outfield, posting a .989 fielding percentage.
On Opening Day 2010 Pagan was not in the lineup, as Gary Mathews Jr. got the start, but his stay in New York was brief & Pagan soon took over. He saw a lot of action, as he filled in for the injured Carlos Beltran who would not return until mid summer . He soon was one of the Mets best hitters & especially with runners in scoring position. He became one of the league’s biggest base stealing threats & played a fine outfield as well.
In April he had four multi RBI games, but started out a bit slow. In May he hit safely in 22 of 27 games getting to a .292 average. On May 19th in Washington, he started a rare triple play with a catch & throw from out in centerfield. He later came up in the game & hit an inside the park HR, although the Mets lost 3-2. During interleague play Pagan helped Johan Santana to win in Cleveland with two hits & a three RBI day on June 16th. Two days later he doubled driving in two runs , helping the Mets & pitchers Hisanori Takahasshi (six innings) Pedro Feliciano (two innings) & Francisco Rodriguez (one inning) to a 4-0 win in the subway series. Then the next week when the Detroit Tigers came to town, he had a four hit day driving in four runs in the Mets 14-6 win.
By the All Star break he was leading the team in batting, hitting .315. When Beltran returned, Pagan took over right field for the departed Jeff Francouer. After the break he hit HRs in back to back games in Arizona, as he drove in runs in four straight games. By the end of July he was batting a season high .313. On a September home stand he had twelve hits; including a three game stretch against the Pittsburgh Pirates where he had eight hits drove in seven runs. On September 14th he hit three doubles in a game& walked three times as well.
He finished the year batting .294 with 37 stolen bases (second in the NL). He also hit 11 HRs with seven triples (8th in the NL) 31 doubles & 69 RBIs. In the outfield he led all centerfielders in errors (10) but was 3rd in put outs (129) & his ten assists were third most among all outfielders.
In 2011 with Carlos Beltrans health being an issue once again, Pagan was given the starting centerfield job by new manager Terry Collins. He had a slow start batting just .159 when he went down with an injury on April 21st. He missed over a month of action, returning to the line up on May 27th at Citi Field. He went on an eight game hitting streak, hitting safely in 13 of 14 while raising his average eighty five points by the end of June.
On July 20th he hit a walk off HR against Fernando Salas to beat the St. Louis Cardinals. That week he drove in runs in nine of thirteen games. In August he had a ten game hit streak & then had a three RBI day to help New York beat the San Diego Padres 7-3. Pagan had a decent month of September finishing up the year batting .320 with 7 HRs 24 doubles 4 triples 32 stolen bases a .322 on base % & 56 RBIs in 123 games.
In December 2011 he was traded to the San Francisco Giants for Andres Torres & Ramon Ramirez. With the Giants he became the teams main centerfielder & was batting .320 through the first week of June.