You can make a case that if Angel Pagan had not gotten injured this season that the San Francisco Giants would have been in contention for a playoff berth.
The Giants season took a turn for the worse on a memorable day back on May 25 against the Colorado Rockies. Pagan recorded an incredible inside-the-park walk-off home run that gave the Giants a 6-5 win over the Rockies. The injury came at a price as Pagan, who had been dealing with a hamstring issue before, had aggravated the injury in the process. The Giants leadoff hitter would have surgery on June 25 on his left hamstring and would not rejoin the team until August 30 in Arizona against the Diamondbacks.
The Giants struggled mightily without Pagan atop the lineup and their season went south. The team went 32-52 without him and kissed their chances at a repeat goodbye.
In Pagan's first game back, he led off the game with a double and scored the only run of the game in a Giants 1-0 win over the Diamondbacks. Pagan put everyone back into their comfort roles and provided that spark in that leadoff spot.
Pagan batted .323 in the 25 games he played in his return, smacking 30 hits, six doubles, six RBI's and scored 14 runs in 93 at-bats. The Giants went 17-12 with him.
During the season, the switch-hitter produced a .282 average in 71 games. He had 79 hits, 16 doubles, three triples, five home runs, 30 RBI's, 23 walks, 36 strikeouts and stole nine bases. He managed a .334 on-base percentage and .414 slugging percentage equaling a .749 OPS.
The 32-year-old recorded 22 multi-hit games and six three-hit games this season. Pagan batted .305 against left-handers and .273 versus righties. He was at his best with runners in scoring position, batting .345 with 20 hits and 27 RBI's in 58 at-bats.
During the month of September, he showcased a .326 batting average with 28 hits, four three-hit games and scored 12 runs in 23 games.
Defensively, he started 66 games in center field and committed just four errors with a .975 fielding percentage.
The Giants fully understand the importance of having Pagan in the lineup and if he can remain healthy in 2014, we could see the Pagan of 2012 return to form.
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