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Saturday, September 28, 2013

FANTASY BASEBALL PLAYER ANALYZER: HUNTER PENCE OUTFIELDER SAN FRANCISCO GIANTS

                                                                   Hunter Pence

The big news of the day during the last weekend of the fantasy baseball season was the San Francisco Giants re-signing outfielder Hunter Pence to a five year deal for $90 million.  It was a deal that worked for both parties as Pence left some dough on the table for the Giants while the player himself gets to stay in a low-key area where he has historically done his best work.  After struggling badly in 2012 with the Philadelphia Phillies when on paper he should have had a career year in that homer haven, Pence found new life after being dealt at the trade deadline to the Giants and than re-discovered his game that made him a desirable fantasy baseball commodity going back to his Houston Astros days.  The result was a tremendous 2013 season that didn't get the positive attention it deserved. With two days left in the season, here is what Pence's numbers looked like as of his contract signing.

.282 average
26 HR
94 RBI
90 R
22 SB

The 30-year-old thus had a major comeback season and his numbers brought back the fond memories of his Astros days as I noted earlier.  Clearly Pence has proven that he does his best work in less-pressurized environments like in Houston and no San Francisco and not in the media glare that is Philly.  Having reached the 20/20 mark for the first time in his career, Pence has some years left at the top of his game and should absolutely be considered a solid outfielder 2 in fantasy baseball terms for the 2014 campaign. 

Looking deeper at the numbers, the 26 home runs were also a career high and that number is more impressive considering the pitcher's park he plays in.  Pence was being relied on as one of the main hitters in the Giant lineup and he clearly did everything he could to generate and score runs by being overly aggressive on the basepaths which led to the spike in steals and the plus-90 totals when you look at his runs and RBI.  Pence has always quietly filled up all five categories for most of his career with not a lot of fanfare.  There is never anything that jumps out about the guy like 40 home runs or 40 steals or a .320 average but the total sum of his numbers are very impressive.  Guys like this always seem to turn a profit and the screen of being on the West Coast and in San Francisco should keep his draft price decent for 2014.  Pence should absolutely be able to come close to his numbers this season going forward and his durability is also a major plus.  I know I will be back on his bandwagon going into next season and you should as well given what we have witnessed.


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