During our NYSOS Fantasy Baseball draft, Angel Pagan and Brett Gardner were drafted four players apart, 123rd and 126th overall, respectively. This led to a discussion, which led to this article, co-written by myself and Kenny Mauss, resident Met fan, to debate the two speedy outfielders.

2010 Stats Brett Gardner Angel Pagan
At Bats 477 579
Batting Avg. .277 .290
On-Base % .383 .340
Slugging % .379 .425
Hits 132 168
Runs 97 80
Walks 79 44
Home Runs 5 11
RBIs 47 69
Stolen Bases 47 37
WAR 4.0 4.8
UZR 22.3 11.9

The Case For Brett Gardner: By Adam Poedubicky

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Let me start off my case for Brett Gardner in saying that he was an enormous replacement for the appallingly average Melky Cabrera. He adds a different dimension to the Yankee lineup that we have not had since… uh… Alfonso Soriano? Comparing Brett “The Jet” to Soriano is a bit of a stretch, but it’s been that long since we had a Yankee that efficient at stealing bases.

One thing that I do love about Brett is his eye at the plate. In 2010, he averaged 4.62 pitchers per plate appearance. When you’re an opposing pitcher, and the nine-hole hitter is making you work the count, the rest of the lineup will perform that much better. These pitches seen lead to walks (which Gardner ranked 10th in the American League in 2010), which leads to stolen bases, and ultimately, runs.

Lastly, I’m a fan of Brett Gardner because he fits in perfectly with the Yankees. With this current lineup, he is the ideal nine-hole hitter. He is someone who gets on base by whatever means necessary, and that is when he creates havoc starts for opposing pitchers and catchers, and that is why I’d choose Brett Gardner over Angel Pagan.

The Case for Angel Pagan: By Kenny Mauss

Angel Pagan began with the Mets as an extra outfielder, pressed into duty when Beltran missed time in 2009. Pagan performed admirably. He was the player that always hustled and ran every ground ball out… yet he never got the support of many to be an everyday outfielder for the Mets.

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Pagan hit .306 in 2009, his first shot at extended playing time. Last year, the Mets did everything they could to replace him in centerfield. They tried to bring in Gary Matthews Jr. and couldn’t wait for Carlos Beltran to return. All he did was bat everywhere they needed him. He started games hitting leadoff, second, third, fifth, sixth, and seventh and eigth. Along with his versatility in the batting lineup, he started at least 22 games in each outfield position, the most coming in centerfield, with 88 starts.

Angel Pagan’s versatitlity is what gives Pagan the advantage over Gardner. Pagan’s greatest attrubiute was the fact that he was the most clutch player on the Mets last year. He hit .339 with runners in scoring position with an OBP of .401. Also, his 4.8 WAR was quietly tied for 8th best in the National League… not bad for a “role player”.