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Sunday, September 27, 2020

Former San Francisco Giants OF Hunter Pence announces retirement, ending 14-year MLB career

Veteran outfielder Hunter Pence announced his retirement Saturday, bringing an end to a 14-year MLB career.

“Nothing can really prepare you for this part of your career, when you have say, ‘I am retiring from baseball,’” Pence said in a video on Twitter. “I’ve given it everything I possibly can, and the game has given back to me tenfold.”

Pence, 37, was designated for assignment in August by the San Francisco Giants after hitting .096 with two home runs and six RBIs in 52 at-bats this season.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: September 27, 2020 at 11:59 AM | 22 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: hunter pence

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   1. Doug Jones threw harder than me Posted: September 27, 2020 at 12:31 PM (#5979123)
The video he posted was really well-done. It reminds one that a video posted on Twitter is the modern equivalent of a full-page ad in the Chronicle.
   2. ramifications of an exciting 57i66135 Posted: September 27, 2020 at 01:04 PM (#5979133)
good career. let's go eat.
   3. Ziggy: social distancing since 1980 Posted: September 27, 2020 at 02:25 PM (#5979150)
"Hunter Pence played baseball well."
   4. Edmundo got dem ol' Kozma blues again mama Posted: September 27, 2020 at 03:56 PM (#5979159)
"Hunter Pence played baseball well."


And with a contagious zeal.
   5. Zach Posted: September 27, 2020 at 05:21 PM (#5979171)
An awfully rootable player.
   6. The Yankee Clapper Posted: September 27, 2020 at 06:12 PM (#5979182)
Pence took in today’s game from McCovey Cove. Would have been more impressive in a kayak.
   7. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: September 27, 2020 at 06:35 PM (#5979195)
Would have been even more impressive treading water.
   8. Astroenteritis Posted: September 27, 2020 at 07:25 PM (#5979206)
I remember when he first came up with the Astros, it was obvious he was going to be one of those guys fans would love rooting for. So glad he enjoyed such great years in San Francisco, having the experience of winning it all. It was fun watching him play.
   9. ramifications of an exciting 57i66135 Posted: September 27, 2020 at 07:51 PM (#5979212)
I remember when he first came up with the Astros, it was obvious he was going to be one of those guys fans would love rooting for. So glad he enjoyed such great years in San Francisco, having the experience of winning it all. It was fun watching him play.
he never didn't run like a newborn deer.
   10. Brian White Posted: September 27, 2020 at 08:44 PM (#5979228)
   11. Howie Menckel Posted: September 27, 2020 at 08:47 PM (#5979230)
Brandon Nimmo has a lot of Hunter Pence in him.
   12. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: September 27, 2020 at 08:48 PM (#5979231)
Easy inductee into the "Hall of Good". Not quite "Hall of Very-Good" calibre.
   13. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: September 27, 2020 at 10:00 PM (#5979266)
I remember seeing him play for Corpus Christi in AA. You could tell he was heads and tails better than everyone else, as well as one guy on the opposing Wichita Wranglers - Alex Gordon. Eight years later, they met in the World Series.

Terrific career, and he seems like a great guy.
   14. Zonk's Greatest Feat Was Ending the Pandemic Posted: September 28, 2020 at 08:38 AM (#5979320)
An awfully rootable player.


Definitely on this century's rootable team.
   15. BDC Posted: September 28, 2020 at 12:05 PM (#5979372)
Closest careers to Hunter Pence, by PAs, OPS+, and dWAR:

Player           dWAR   PA OPSRbaser  HR  RBI   BA     Pos
Reggie Sanders    1.8 7043  115   18.7 305  983 .267 
*978H/D
Carl Furillo     
-2.1 7022  112    1.9 192 1058 .299  *98H/7
Greg Vaughn      
-6.2 7070  113   12.2 355 1072 .242 *7D/H89
Hunter Pence     
-6.9 7006  114   14.0 244  942 .279 *9/8H7D 


Provided by Stathead.com: View Stathead Tool Used
Generated 9/28/2020.

Sanders was a bit better, obviously, and had a 40-WAR career to Pence's 31. Furillo had 35 WAR, Vaughn 31 … they are closer in value, but Pence was more consistent. Furillo was a batting champion, Vaughn once hit 50 home runs. Pence would only hit 25 home runs, but he would do it year after year.
   16. Starring Bradley Scotchman as RMc Posted: September 28, 2020 at 03:32 PM (#5979417)
Easy inductee into the "Hall of Good". Not quite "Hall of Very-Good" calibre.

I was going to make a crack about the HOF, but his case is better than I thought: 1,791 hits, 244 HR, 31 WAR, four ASG, two rings. (If he wins a title or two as a manager, he might just get in...)
   17. Howie Menckel Posted: September 28, 2020 at 04:53 PM (#5979439)
slightly better narrative for Pence than the slightly better Reggie Sanders who was noted above:

1998 Reds
1999 Padres
2000 Braves
2001 Diamondbacks
2002 Giants
2003 Pirates
2004 Cardinals

if he had spent the next 8 years playing for the 8 other NL teams, I'd have voted for him. the merry-go-round started at age 30, alas, so he was only able to add the AL Royals to his list on the back end.

everyday player with respectable numbers for all those NL clubs but the Braves (he otherwise avoided the NL East). got a ring with the DBacks and a pennant with the Giants and Cardinals.

.410 career OPS (yes OPS) in 97 PA over 5 NLCSs, which is hard to do - .136/.219/.193.

but in 2005 NLDS, he had 10 RBI in 13 PA with just one HR and two doubles - also hard to do.

October 31, 2000: Granted Free Agency.

November 6, 2001: Granted Free Agency.

October 31, 2002: Granted Free Agency.

October 27, 2003: Granted Free Agency.

October 28, 2005: Granted Free Agency.

October 29, 2007: Granted Free Agency.
   18. Walt Davis Posted: September 28, 2020 at 05:37 PM (#5979452)
I'm trying to decide if you guys know what "root" is Australian slang for or not.

On the brighter side, the Braves have Panda on the active roster so that dream lives.
   19. Pat Rapper's Delight (as quoted on MLB Network) Posted: September 28, 2020 at 05:44 PM (#5979454)
I'm trying to decide if you guys know what "root" is Australian slang for or not.

Graeme Lloyd knows!
   20. Ziggy: social distancing since 1980 Posted: September 28, 2020 at 07:19 PM (#5979470)
For a guy who looked like he was mostly composed of elbows, he was really good. Pence is a guy who will be missed.
   21. Greg K Posted: September 29, 2020 at 07:27 AM (#5979500)
I always thought of Pence as a self-taught baseball player. I mean, surely no coach taught him his various techniques on the field.
   22. Russ Posted: September 29, 2020 at 09:18 AM (#5979510)
Player dWAR PA OPS+ Rbaser HR RBI BA Pos
Reggie Sanders 1.8 7043 115 18.7 305 983 .267 *978H/D
Carl Furillo -2.1 7022 112 1.9 192 1058 .299 *98H/7
Greg Vaughn -6.2 7070 113 12.2 355 1072 .242 *7D/H89
Hunter Pence -6.9 7006 114 14.0 244 942 .279 *9/8H7D


All the guys on this list have WAR H-statistics of 3 (see post 33 in the linked thread for the idea, later posts contain various helpful lists from David Foss) which is clearly the "Hall of Good" level of player... very different shapes of career though.

Note: H-statistic is equal to the value such that a player has at least that many seasons with at least that many WAR. H-statistic of 4 is generally"Hall of Very Good". Only the borderline HOF players have H-statistics of 3 or 4 (LWaner, Mazeroski and Rizzuto are all H=3, Baines is actually a 2). WAR of 5 is a real mix (about 50/50) of HOF, 6 or above is a slam dunk HOF modulo steroids.

One thing I didn't like about this statistics is that you lose the shape of the career. Probably you can get more info by adding two auxiliary measures -- excess seasons (for career) and excess WAR during seasons that count (for peak).

Sanders was a real career guy. His H-statistic was 3, but he actually 6 seasons at 3 WAR or above. However, he had one year of 6.6 and everything else in those 5 other seasons was between 3.1 and 4.1. So we would say that he has an H-stat of 3, but with excess (3-WAR) seasons equal to 3 (because he had three other seasons that qualified) and a total excess peak WAR in those seasons of (6.6 -3) + (4.1 - 3) + (3.6-3) = 5.2 (because if he was exactly at 3 WAR in those two seasons, he would still be H=3). So Sanders would be a (3, 3, 5.2).

Furillo was very different. Furillo only had 1 excess season (he only had 4 seasons above 3) but he had excess WAR equal to (5.1 - 3) + (4.8 - 3) + (4.6 - 3) = 5.5. Furillo then is a (3,1,5.5).

Vaughn also had 1 excess season, but he had (6.7 - 3) + (6.3 -3) + (3.4 -3) = 7.4 excess WAR. Vaughn is a (3, 1, 7.4).

Baines is interesting, because as H=2, he has a lot of capacity for excess seasons so he actually has 10 excess seasons with only 3.0 excess WAR in those two seasons. (2, 10, 3). I would guess a lot of your career compilers would be similar.

As for the subject of the thread, Pence had H=3, 3 seasons of excess with a total just 2.8 excess WAR. So, in comparison to his 3 closest comps, he was more of career guy than a peak guy. In fact, other than Sanders one outlier season, he and Pence look very similar.

For comparison on current players, Trout has an H=7, which puts in him already in rare company. He has no excess seasons (yet), but his excess WAR is 16.7, so he is (7,0,16.7). For Albert Pujols, he was (7, 1, 12.7) and Eddie Collins was (7,1,15.4). And Trout only has half the number of seasons as the other two (!), although that half usually doesn't add much more to the totals.

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