Hunter Pence

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Hunter Pence
Pence.jpg
Hunter Pence at AT&T Park in 2012
San Francisco Giants – No. 8
Outfielder
Born: (1983-04-13) April 13, 1983 (age 31)
Fort Worth, Texas
Bats: RightThrows: Right
MLB debut
April 28, 2007 for the Houston Astros
Career statistics
(through 2014 season)
Batting average.284
Hits1,349
Home runs185
Runs batted in689
Stolen bases102
Teams
Career highlights and awards
 
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Hunter Pence
Pence.jpg
Hunter Pence at AT&T Park in 2012
San Francisco Giants – No. 8
Outfielder
Born: (1983-04-13) April 13, 1983 (age 31)
Fort Worth, Texas
Bats: RightThrows: Right
MLB debut
April 28, 2007 for the Houston Astros
Career statistics
(through 2014 season)
Batting average.284
Hits1,349
Home runs185
Runs batted in689
Stolen bases102
Teams
Career highlights and awards

Hunter Andrew Pence (born April 13, 1983),[1][2] is a Major League Baseball outfielder for the San Francisco Giants. He previously played for the Houston Astros and Philadelphia Phillies. Pence stands 6 feet 4 inches (193 cm) tall and weighs 210 pounds (95 kg). He bats and throws right-handed. He was a member of the 2012 World Series champions with the San Francisco Giants. He is the current iron man leader for consecutive games played in Major League Baseball (383 games as of the end of the 2014 Major League Baseball season).

Early life[edit]

Pence attended Arlington High School in Arlington, Texas.[1] After playing outfield his first three years,[1] he moved to shortstop his senior year.[1] He attended Texarkana College for a year and was a designated hitter on the baseball team.[1] He transferred to the University of Texas at Arlington (UTA) where he returned to the outfield.[1] He hit .347 as a sophomore in 2003 and was named a first-team all-conference outfielder. Despite missing 15 of UTA's 30 Southland Conference games the following year due to an injury at mid-season—he was still named the 2004 Southland Conference player of the year, leading the league with a .395 batting average.[1] Pence still holds the conference record for doubles in a single series, with 5.[3]

Minor leagues[edit]

Pence was drafted by the Milwaukee Brewers in the 40th round of the 2002 Major League Baseball Draft, but did not sign. In the 2004 Major League Baseball Draft he was drafted in the second round (64th pick overall) by the Houston Astros out of the University of Texas at Arlington. He played the 2004 season with the single A Tri-City ValleyCats in Troy, New York. During that year, Pence, along with current major leaguers Ben Zobrist and Drew Sutton helped lead the 'Cats to a 50 win season in the New York–Penn League, the most in ValleyCats history. That year, the 'Cats defeated the Brooklyn Cyclones in the first round, but lost to the Mahoning Valley Scrappers in the league championship.[citation needed]

In 2006 with the AA Corpus Christi Hooks, Pence batted .283 and hit 28 home runs, with 95 RBIs. He had 17 stolen bases, while being caught stealing only 4 times.[4] In 2006, he was one of three outfielders named to the Baseball America Minor League All-Star Team.[5] Pence began the 2007 season as the AAA Round Rock Express' center fielder,[6] though he made a serious run to make the big league club out of spring training.[citation needed]

Major leagues[edit]

Houston Astros[edit]

2007[edit]

Pence made his major league debut as the Houston Astros center fielder on April 28, 2007, versus the Milwaukee Brewers[7] and got his first major league hit and scored his first run. Pence's first home run in the majors was a grand slam, against the St. Louis Cardinals on May 5. Pence hit a dramatic walk-off home run against José Mesa of the Philadelphia Phillies in the bottom of the 13th inning at Minute Maid Park on July 3 in a 5–4 win. It was Mesa's only pitch of the game.[8]

Pence at-bat in 2008

On July 23, general manager Tim Purpura announced that Pence would be out with a small chipped bone fracture in his right wrist. On August 21, Pence was activated from the disabled list. At that point, despite having missed a month he was 4th among NL rookies in at bats.[citation needed] Pence led NL rookies in triples (9), and was 2nd to Ryan Braun in batting average (.322), on-base percentage (.360), slugging percentage (.539), and OPS (.899).[citation needed]

Pence was a unanimous selection to the 2007 Topps Major League Rookie All-Star Team. The selection was the result of the 49th annual Topps balloting of Major League managers.[9] Pence (15 points) came in third, and lost out to Braun (128 points) in the vote for the 2007 NL Sporting News Rookie of the Year Award by 488 major league players and 30 managers.[10][11] He also lost out to Braun in the competition for the 2007 Baseball America Rookie of the Year Award,[12] in the vote for the 2007 Players Choice NL Most Outstanding Rookie by their fellow major league players,[13] and in the Baseball Prospectus 2007 Internet Baseball NL Rookie of the Year Award, with 16 first place votes, versus 666 for Braun.[14]

2008–10[edit]

Pence on April 3, 2010

In his sophomore season, Pence set new personal single-season records in home runs (25), runs batted in (83), doubles (25), hits (160), and at bats (595). However, his batting average dipped to .269, his on-base percentage fell to .318, and his slugging percentage also fell to .466. Pence led the league in outfield assists with 16, committed 1 error, and had a fielding percentage of .997.

In his third season, Pence was named an All-Star for the first time.[citation needed] In his fourth season, Pence was durable once again. He batted .282 with 25 home runs, drove in 91 RBIS and played 156 games. After the 2010 season he was considered[by whom?] the cornerstone of the Astros.[citation needed]

2011[edit]

Pence was named a 2011 All-Star as a reserve, marking the second time he has made the All-Star team. He was brought into the middle of the game, threw out José Bautista from the outfield, and scored the National League's 5th run of the game. At the All-Star break, Pence was batting .321 with 10 home runs and 59 RBIs.[citation needed]

Philadelphia Phillies[edit]

2011[edit]

Pence on June 8, 2012

July 29, 2011, the Houston Astros traded Pence to the Philadelphia Phillies for four minor-league players: first baseman Jonathan Singleton, right-handers Jarred Cosart and Josh Zeid, and a player to be named later, determined to be outfielder Domingo Santana.[15]

On August 4, 2011, Hunter hit his first home run as a Phillie, against Madison Bumgarner.[16]

In 2011, Pence was fourth in the NL in batting average (.314; behind Jose Reyes, Ryan Braun, and Matt Kemp) and eighth in RBI, with 97.[17]

San Francisco Giants[edit]

2012[edit]

On July 31, 2012, the Phillies sent Pence in a deadline deal to the San Francisco Giants. In return, the Phillies received Nate Schierholtz, Tommy Joseph, and Seth Rosin.[18] On August 21, 2012, despite Pence no longer being on the team, the Phillies went ahead with a previously-planned Hunter Pence bobblehead promotion.[19]

On August 12, 2012 Pence hit his first home run as a Giant off Rockies' relief pitcher Rafael Betancourt.[20]

On October 10, 2012, before Game 3 of the NLDS, the Giants were down 2–0 and facing elimination against the Cincinnati Reds. Pence gave his teammates a passionate pregame speech in the dugout shortly before the first pitch.[21] The Giants ended up beating the Cincinnati Reds in 3 straight games to advance to the NLCS. His inspirational speeches have been credited by his teammates as helping them rally together during the Giants' postseason and to eventually win the 2012 World Series.[22][23] His speeches have also become the source of good-natured ribbing between Giants teammates.[24]

2013[edit]

On July 13, 2013, Pence had a five-RBI game in a 9-0 Giants win over the San Diego Padres at Petco Park. With two outs in the bottom of the 8th inning, Pence robbed Alexi Amarista of a hit by making a diving catch to preserve Tim Lincecum's no-hitter.[25] On August 27, 2013, Hunter Pence hit what at the time was the longest home run of the season to date. The ball hit a wall above the left field bleacher seats at Coors Field. According to ESPN Tracking, the ball traveled an estimated 476 feet.[26]

On September 10, 2013, Pence hit his 20th home run in the 1st inning and became the 7th San Francisco Giants player to hit 20 home runs and steal 20 bases in the same season and the first since Barry Bonds in 1998. (Bobby Bonds, Willie Mays, Jeffrey Leonard, Orlando Cepeda and Glenallen Hill are the others.)[27]

On September 14, 2013, Pence lifted his first career Giants grand slam over the center-field wall at Dodgers Stadium in Los Angeles off of Los Angeles Dodgers relief pitcher Stephen Fife and drove in a career-high 7 RBIs, helping propel the Giants to a historic 19–3 rout of their longtime rival the Dodgers. With the help of Brandon Belt's first career five-hit game, they scored the most runs in the history of Dodger Stadium.[28]

On September 16, 2013, Pence was named National League Player of the Week for the third time in his career, after hitting .448 with 6 home runs and 19 RBI.[29]

On September 27, Pence won the Willie Mac Award.[30] The next day, Pence agreed to a 5-year $90 million contract extension with the Giants.[31]

On September 30, Pence was named NL Player of the Month for September, hitting .293 with a .393 on-base percentage and 11 home runs and 32 RBIs.[32] Pence started all 162 games during the 2013 season, becoming the first Giants player to do so since Alvin Dark in 1954, when the season was 154 games long.[32]

2014[edit]

On July 6, Pence was elected to his third All-Star Game.[33]

On October 7, 2014 in an elimination Game 4 of the NLDS against the favored Washington Nationals, Pence made a leaping catch against the right field wall in the 6th inning to deny Jayson Werth an extra-base hit. This dramatic play held the Giants' 2-1 lead, helping the Giants to secure an eventual 3-2 victory.[34]

Personal life[edit]

During the 2013 season, Pence kept to a strict Paleolithic diet, but has since stopped due to his low percentage of body fat.[35]

Also in 2013 he was diagnosed with Scheuermann's disease, a spinal disorder that usually develops in adolescence. It was not discovered in Pence until his physical before signing a five-year $90 million contract with the San Francisco Giants in September.[36]

Awards[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g Fitzpatrick, Frank (August 21, 2011). "Hunter Pence's road to the majors". Philadelphia Inquirer. Retrieved August 21, 2011. 
  2. ^ "Hunter Pence is Philly style." The Philadelphia Inquirer: August 11, 2011.
  3. ^ Southland Conference Records, Soutland.org, 5/12/12
  4. ^ "Hunter Pence Stats, Statistics, and Fantasy News". Rotowire.com. June 2007. Retrieved June 20, 2007. 
  5. ^ Minor League All-Star Team. September 25, 2006. Baseball America. Retrieved 2011-09-30.
  6. ^ Richard Justice (March 21, 2007). "SportsJustice: Hunter Pence sent to Minors. For Now.". Houston Chronicle. Retrieved June 20, 2007. 
  7. ^ "MLB = Milwaukee Brewers/Houston Astros Recap Saturday April 28, 2007 – Yahoo! Sports". Associated Press. April 28, 2007. Retrieved April 29, 2007. 
  8. ^ "Astros vs. Phillies July 3, 2007". baseball-reference.com. July 3, 2007. Retrieved August 4, 2014. 
  9. ^ "Topps announces the 49th annual Topps Major League Rookie All-Star Team". Kansascity.royals.mlb.com. November 26, 2007. Retrieved October 5, 2011. 
  10. ^ "SN awards: A-Rod is player of the year". Sporting News. October 15, 2007. Retrieved January 5, 2008. 
  11. ^ "Sporting News honors A-Rod – Third baseman earns magazine's Player of the Year award". MLB.com. October 15, 2007. Retrieved January 5, 2008. 
  12. ^ Haudricourt, Tom (October 17, 2007). "Record-Setting Bat Propels Braun". Baseballamerica.com. Retrieved October 5, 2011. 
  13. ^ "Major League Baseball Players Recognize Top Rookie in Each League". October 26, 2007. Retrieved January 5, 2008. 
  14. ^ "The 2007 Internet Baseball Awards; Results and Wrap-Up". Baseballprospectus.com. November 1, 2007. Retrieved October 5, 2011. 
  15. ^ "Phillies land Houston's Hunter Pence in trade". The San Francisco Chronicle. August 1, 2011. 
  16. ^ "Phillies acquire Hunter Pence from Astros". Philadelphia.phillies.mlb.com. July 29, 2011. Retrieved October 5, 2011. 
  17. ^ "Hunter Pence Statistics and History". Baseball-Reference.com. Retrieved October 5, 2011. 
  18. ^ "San Francisco Giants Acquire Hunter Pence". 
  19. ^ http://philadelphia.phillies.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20120820&content_id=37020728&notebook_id=37020732&c_id=phi
  20. ^ Dierkes, Tim. Giants Acquire Hunter Pence MLBTradeRumors.com. Retrieved July 31, 2012.
  21. ^ Jenkins, Bruce (October 10, 2012). "Pence puts a charge into his team". The San Francisco Chronicle. 
  22. ^ Smith, Brian. "Ex-Astro Hunter Pence wins World Series ring with Giants". UltimateAstros.com. Houston Chronicle. Retrieved November 1, 2012. 
  23. ^ Brown, Daniel. "San Francisco Giants take page from football playbook". mercurynews.com. San Jose Mercury News. Retrieved November 1, 2012. 
  24. ^ "Hunter Pence impressions". mlb.com. Major League Baseball Productions. Retrieved November 22, 2012. 
  25. ^ "MLB.com video – Pence's stellar catch". 
  26. ^ "ESPN Home Run Tracker". 
  27. ^ "Extra Baggs: Pence brings more than speed and power, etc.". 
  28. ^ "Giants pound LA behind 13 RBIs from Pence, Belt". 
  29. ^ a b "Hunter Pence of the San Francisco Giants named National League Player of the Week". MLB.com (Press release). September 16, 2013. 
  30. ^ Baggarly, Andrew. "Humble, humorous Hunter Pence accepts Willie Mac award". Retrieved 23 March 2014. 
  31. ^ "Giants, Pence agree to five-year extension". 
  32. ^ a b c Simon, Andrew (September 30, 2013). "Pence's monster month earns NL honors". MLB.com. Retrieved July 14, 2014. 
  33. ^ "All-Stars unveiled, including 25 first-timers". 
  34. ^ Witz, Billy (8 October 2014). "The Ball May Not Travel Far, but the Giants Earn a Trip to the N.L.C.S.". The New York Times Company. Retrieved 8 October 2014. 
  35. ^ Ostler, Scott (February 22, 2014). "Hunter Pence's smart diet is food for thought". SFGate. Retrieved 22 March 2014. 
  36. ^ Rosenthal, Ken (12 October 2014). "THERE'S A GOOD REASON WHY HUNTER PENCE THROWS LIKE THAT". Fox Sports. Retrieved 12 October 2014. 
  37. ^ Minor League All-Star Team. September 25, 2006. Baseball America. Retrieved 2011-08-21.
  38. ^ "Arizona's Valverde, Houston's Pence named co-winners of Bank of America Presents the National League Player of the Week". MLB.com. May 21, 2007. Retrieved May 22, 2007. 
  39. ^ "Pedroia, Pence selected as Rookies of the Month". MLB.com. June 4, 2007. Retrieved June 4, 2007. 

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Josh Hamilton
National League Rookie of the Month
May 2007
Succeeded by
Ryan Braun