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Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Hunter Pence is mashing for the Rangers

Hunter Pence was thought to be on his way to retirement after a lackluster 2018 season with the Giants. As he entered his mid-30’s, Pence spent a considerable amount of time on the injured list, playing in 389 out of 648 possible regular season games with the Giants from 2015-18.

Pence, however, kept his career going, inking a minor league deal with the Rangers in February. He performed very well in spring training, earning a spot on the Opening Day roster. Pence hasn’t stopped hitting.

Entering Monday night’s game against the Mariners, Pence was batting .299/.358/.619 with eight home runs and 28 RBI in 109 plate appearances, mostly as a DH. Statcast agrees that Pence has been mashing the ball. He has an average exit velocity of 93.3 MPH this season, which would obliterate his marks in each of the previous four seasons since Statcast became a thing. His career average exit velocity is 89.8 MPH. He has “barreled” the ball 10.4 percent of the time, well above his 6.2 percent average.

So, Small Sample Size Theatre at play- or a sign that the Giants curse those who play on them?


QLE Posted: May 21, 2019 at 04:41 AM | 6 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: comeback, hunter pence, rangers

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   1. Ziggy is done with Dominican discotheques Posted: May 21, 2019 at 09:14 AM (#5844127)
Hunter Pence flosses regularly.
   2. Astroenteritis Posted: May 21, 2019 at 12:09 PM (#5844211)
It's good to see The Unnatural doing well.
   3. Edmundo got dem ol' Kozma blues again mama Posted: May 21, 2019 at 04:29 PM (#5844353)
It's good to see The Unnatural doing well.

If that's your name for him, Primey!
   4. Crispix Attacksel Rios Posted: May 21, 2019 at 05:16 PM (#5844367)
I lost track of the Rangers. They look like the one team that still thinks it's worth it to sign non-star-level veterans. They have a whole bunch of fairly well-known veterans that I did not know were on the Rangers. Including 4/5 of their starting rotation.
   5. Walt Davis Posted: May 21, 2019 at 09:11 PM (#5844428)
Pence's 153 OPS+ leads the 33+ brigade but he's not alone.

So far, 57 players aged 33+ with at least 50 PAs. Some of these guys (e.g. Matt Kemp) may not be receiving many/any more PAs this season. Anyway, median OPS+ for this group is 95, close enough to league average. Of course, being older, a lot of these guys are playing 1B, DH or a corner OF where we'd want something more than a 95. But there are many who are doing quite well, a good number of whom I gave up for dead -- Pence, Gordon, Choo, Kendrick, Fowler, Neil Walker. Old catchers are doing particularly nicely, some in a back-up role or having missed time due to injury but:

Chirinos 137 OPS+
McCann 126
Martin 126
Flowers 110
Suzuki 108
Lucroy 104
Iannetta 100 (I didn't know he was still around)
Molina 90 (still average for a C)

The much maligned Adam Jones is sporting a 116 OPS+ for now with meh defense leaving him average -- still would have been an upgrade for Cleveland.

There are disappointments of course, maybe none bigger than Cain but also Cano, Votto and Carpenter. Longoria hanging on with a meh bat and good glove. And then there are some disasters. Zach Cozart apparently is using a wiffle ball bat this season (-8 OPS+) making Steve Pearce (0 OPS+) look good. Kendrys, Kinsler, CarGo and Murphy might be at the end of the line.

And unfortunately, Chris Davis's brief run of goodness seems to have come to a crashing halt ... 4 for his last 29, 1 HR, 18 K in 32 PA with a golden sombrero yesterday.
   6. Crispix Attacksel Rios Posted: May 21, 2019 at 09:32 PM (#5844440)
Iannetta 100 (I didn't know he was still around)

He's around but he's only started 12 games. Maybe he should start more because he's still hitting better than Tony Wolters.

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