Hunter Pence
Hunter Pence
36-Year-Old OutfielderOF
 Free Agent  
Free Agent
Out
Injury Back
Est. Return 2/1/2020
2020 Fantasy Outlook
Pence was one of the stories of the 2019 season. It would have made sense for the beloved veteran to retire after posting a 60 wRC+ in 2018, but he decided to give it one more go. A visit to hitting guru Doug Latta worked wonders, as a new swing helped Pence rebound to hit .297/.358/.552 in his age-36 season, good for a 128 wRC+, the fourth-best mark of his 13-year career. It wasn't a purely positive season for Pence, however, as groin and back issues limited him to just 83 games, ending his season prematurely in late August. The outfielder is now heading into his age-37 season having averaged just 94.4 games over the last five years, so don't expect him to remain healthy this year. His bounceback doesn't seem to be a fluke, though, given that it was backed by a revamped swing, so there's reason to bet on another strong offensive performance for as long as Pence can stay on the field. Read Past Outlooks
$Signed a one-year, minor-league contract with the Rangers in February of 2019.
Won't return this season
OFTexas Rangers  
Back
September 24, 2019
Pence (back) confirmed he won't return this season, Levi Weaver of The Athletic reports.
ANALYSIS
Pence has been on the shelf since Aug. 27 with a back injury and simply won't have enough time to make it back before the end of the season. The veteran outfielder compiled a .287/.358/.552 slash line with 18 home runs and six steals in 83 games for the Rangers this season and is hoping to continue playing in 2020.
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Batting Stats
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Batting Order Slot Breakdown
vs Right-Handed Pitchers
vs RHP
#1
#2
#3
#4
#5
#6
#7
#8
#9
2
9
19
1
1
vs Left-Handed Pitchers
vs LHP
#1
#2
#3
#4
#5
#6
#7
#8
#9
11
19
7
Left/Right Batting Splits
Since 2017
 
 
+12%
OPS vs LHP
2019
 
 
+20%
OPS vs LHP
2018
 
 
+8%
OPS vs RHP
2017
 
 
+16%
OPS vs LHP
OPS PA R HR RBI SB AVG OBP SLG
Since 2017vs Left .790 386 51 15 51 4 .271 .326 .463
Since 2017vs Right .705 717 76 20 99 9 .258 .308 .397
2019vs Left 1.015 119 25 8 22 2 .327 .378 .636
2019vs Right .845 197 28 10 37 4 .278 .345 .500
2018vs Left .566 109 8 3 9 2 .192 .229 .337
2018vs Right .609 139 11 1 15 3 .252 .281 .328
2017vs Left .776 158 18 4 20 0 .286 .354 .421
2017vs Right .670 381 37 9 47 2 .249 .299 .371
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Home/Away Batting Splits
Since 2017
 
 
+5%
OPS on Road
2019
 
 
+21%
OPS on Road
2018
 
 
+10%
OPS on Road
2017
 
 
+8%
OPS at Home
OPS PA R HR RBI SB AVG OBP SLG
Since 2017Home .715 531 72 13 57 9 .267 .320 .395
Since 2017Away .753 572 55 22 93 4 .258 .309 .443
2019Home .819 152 27 7 19 4 .297 .355 .464
2019Away .995 164 26 11 40 2 .297 .360 .635
2018Home .562 124 13 2 9 3 .209 .258 .304
2018Away .616 124 6 2 15 2 .242 .258 .358
2017Home .729 255 32 4 29 2 .279 .329 .399
2017Away .676 284 23 9 38 0 .242 .303 .373
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Stat Review
How does Hunter Pence compare to other hitters?
This section compares his stats with all batting seasons from the previous three seasons (minimum 400 plate appearances)*. The bar represents the player's percentile rank. For example, if the bar is halfway across, then the player falls into the 50th percentile for that stat and it would be considered average.

* Exit Velocity and Barrels/PA % are benchmarked against 2019 data (min 400 PA) and Hard Hit Rate is benchmarked against last season's data (min 400 PA). See here for more exit velocity/barrels stats plus an explanation of current limitations with that data set.
  • BB/K
    Walk to strikeout ratio
  • BB Rate
    The percentage of plate appearances resulting in a walk.
  • K Rate
    The percentage of plate appearances resulting in a strikeout.
  • BABIP
    Batting average on balls in play. Measures how many of a batter’s balls in play go for hits.
  • ISO
    Isolated Power. Slugging percentage minus batting average. A computation used to measure a batter's raw power.
  • AVG
    Batting average. Hits divided by at bats.
  • OBP
    On Base Percentage. A measure of how often a batters reaches base. Roughly equal to number of times on base divided by plate appearances.
  • SLG
    Slugging Percentage. A measure of the batting productivity of a hitter. It is calculated as total bases divided by at bats.
  • OPS
    On base plus slugging. THe sum of a batter's on-base percentage and slugging percentage.
  • wOBA
    Weighted on-base average. Measures a player's overall offensive contributions per plate appearance. wOBA combines all the different aspects of hitting into one metric, weighting each of them in proportion to their actual run value.
  • Exit Velocity
    The speed of the baseball as it comes off the bat, immediately after a batter makes contact.
  • Hard Hit Rate
    A measure of contact quality from Sports Info Solutions. This stat explains what percentage of batted balls were hit hard vs. medium or soft.
  • Barrels/PA
    The percentage of plate appearances where a batter had a batted ball classified as a Barrel. A Barrel is a batted ball with similar exit velocity and launch angle to past ones that led to a minimum .500 batting average and 1.500 slugging percentage.
BB/K
0.38
 
BB Rate
8.2%
 
K Rate
21.8%
 
BABIP
.333
 
ISO
.255
 
AVG
.297
 
OBP
.358
 
SLG
.552
 
OPS
.910
 
wOBA
.392
 
Exit Velocity
91.5 mph
 
Hard Hit Rate
42.5%
 
Barrels/PA
6.3%
 
Advanced Batting Stats
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Additional Stats
Games By Position
Defensive Stats
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Stats Vs Upcoming Pitchers
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Recent RotoWire Articles Featuring Hunter Pence
Games Played By Position: 2020 Eligibility Notes
59 days ago
Clay Link looks at appearances by position and makes note of multi-position eligibility and lost eligibility for 2020.
Regan's Rumblings: Prospect Stashes for Next Year
88 days ago
Dave Regan does a deep dive into prospects to keep an eye on in 2020, including Tampa Bay’s Wander Franco, who stands out with his incredibly advanced plate discipline at such a young age.
FanDuel MLB: Thursday Breakdown
114 days ago
Will Mike Soroka mow down the Marlins again? Sasha Yodashkin takes a look at whether he's worth selecting Thursday in FanDuel games.
FanDuel MLB: Wednesday Breakdown
115 days ago
Sasha Yodashkin checks out Wednesday's evening slate and expects Matt Chapman and the A's to take advantage of a matchup with homer-prone southpaw J.A. Happ.
Yahoo DFS Baseball: Tuesday Picks
123 days ago
Mike Barner suggests that an Astros stack, headlined by Carlos Correa, is a solid play Tuesday against Ivan Nova and the White Sox.
Past Fantasy Outlooks
2019
2018
2017
2016
2015
2014
2013
2012
2011
2010
2009
2008
2007
2006
Pence has likely played his last game with the Giants but maintains he is not done playing baseball. Frankly, his numbers say otherwise. Pence has been traveling down the Dale Murphy path to retirement, as he's gone from being 20% better than the league average, offensively, to 40% below average in just two seasons. Those numbers do not turn around at age 36, which is how old Pence will be two weeks into the 2019 season. One path forward could be as a designated hitter in the American League -- that would both help keep him healthy and keep his diminishing defensive skills off the field. A more likely path forward is on the Bay Area media crew. He would be an ideal fit for a pre- and/or post-game broadcast crew. The game needs his personality to stick around, but his skills are in full decline.
Apparently Pence didn't get the memo, as he was only able to muster 13 homers and 31 total extra-base hits in 2017, resulting in what was by far the lowest slugging percentage of his 11-year career. He didn't hit his first home run at home until Aug. 5, and Pence, who was once a model of good health, made another trip to the DL, missing three weeks with a hamstring injury. His contact skills remain strong as he approaches his age-35 season, but Pence doesn't run anymore, he doesn't hit for power and the health issues are mounting. The home park works against him, but it's not like he does a lot of damage on the road either. The Giants are talking about moving Pence to a part-time role, so while his name value may carry him to a top-350 ADP, at this stage he is better left for NL-only formats.
A year removed from his first injury-plagued season in 2015, Pence missed nearly two months of action after suffering a serious hamstring injury in early June. Despite missing one-third of the season, the enigmatic outfielder was still able to produce solid offensive stats, finishing with 13 homers and 57 RBI while slashing .289/.357/.451 in 106 games. It is important to note that Pence only stole one base in 2016, a far cry from his speed renaissance in 2013. The lack of steals could be attributed to the nature of his injury, but it could also be a result of getting a little long in the tooth. In fact, since stealing 22 bases back in 2013, Pence has seen his stolen base totals decline steadily every season. He is still quite useful in all formats, but Pence is no longer the five-category contributor he was in his prime. Assuming good health, he should be good for another 20-homer season with a good batting average and solid counting stats batting in the heart of the Giants' lineup.
Prior to 2015, Pence was the definition of an everyday player, missing just 16 games in the previous seven years and playing all 162 for the Giants in 2013 and 2014. The clean bill of health was finally broken in spring training when he took a fastball off a forearm that caused him to miss the first month and a half of the season. He managed to suit up for 52 games, batting .275 with nine homers, 30 RBI and three steals during that span, but more arm problems popped up and effectively ended his 2015 campaign. When healthy, Pence is a five-category contributor who belongs in the top 20-40 of fantasy outfielders. Looking ahead, the concern is that his nagging arm issues from 2015 rear appear again in 2016. At age 32, you can't take arm injuries lightly, especially from hitters who are expected to top 20 homers in a season. Still, Pence deserves the benefit of the doubt given his long history of durability prior to last season, and he proved in the 52 games that he played that he can still fill the stat sheet.
If memes are a solar system, Pence is the sun. It would hardly be surprising if Pence ate his pizza with a fork, preferred baths to showers or hated bacon. There is nothing typical about the way he plays the game, but his unique approach generates consistently excellent results. Durability is the crux, as Pence has missed just 16 games in the last seven seasons combined –- while being included in two midseason trades during that span. In each of those seven seasons, Pence has hit at least 20 home runs, scored 75 runs and driven in 70, often providing better counting stats than those floors, including a career-high 106 runs in 2014. As a five-category contributor, Pence is a rock, albeit a rock who very eerily resembles Marv from “Home Alone,” the crook who nearly spoiled two Christmases for young Kevin McAllister in the early 90s. Early in spring training, Pence suffered a fractured left forearm, which will sideline him for approximately two-to-four weeks once the regular season begins in April.
Pence truly had a sensational year in 2013 after it seemed that his career was trending downwards in 2012. He hit .283/.339/.483 with 27 homers, 99 RBI and a solid 133 wRC+ while starting all 162 game for the Giants. The biggest surprise was Pence's newfound speed, as he stole more than 20 bases for the first time in his career. And it wasn't just a case of Pence taking off more often, as he was caught stealing just three times, leading to the best success rate (88.0%) of his career. Pence announced in spring training that he would be more active on the basepaths in 2013 and he stuck to his word. Now that Pence is once again a threat on the basepaths, the rest of the league may start paying more attention to him next season. Otherwise, there is nothing in Pence's underlying numbers that indicate he can't repeat his offensive statistics in 2014.
Despite hitting 24 home runs, 2012 was Pence's worst season to date in terms of his wOBA (.323) and wRC+ (102). His batting average dropped due to an expected regression in his BABIP from .368 in 2011 to .290 and a career-worst strikeout rate (21.4 percent). His 12.9 percent swinging-strike rate indicates that strikeouts could be a problem in 2013. Pence's HR/FB rate dropped to a career worst 11.5 percent with his move to AT&T Park, so it's not a given he'll continue to post 20 or more home runs.
The Phillies acquired Pence from the Astros prior to the trade deadline last season in order to bring some balance to their lineup. Pence proved to be a solid addition hitting .324 with 11 home runs while in a Phillies uniform. The former top prospect has settled in as a nice major league player with his mid-20s home-run power and double-digit stolen base numbers. Those numbers are likely to hold steady, but the batting average might be in for a correction as Pence's .370 BABIP last season is much higher than his career .321 rate. Pence had surgery for a hernia in the offseason but the procedure is considered minor and he will be ready for spring training.
Like many of his teammates, Pence got off to a miserable start last season, but he recovered enough to put up numbers pretty similar to his 2009 line. The one slightly worrisome development was the regression in his walk rate, dropping to 2008 levels and giving up all of the gains he made in 2009. Pence is streaky, so if you draft him, expect your share of up and down months. Whether he will recapture the plate discipline and take his game to the next level remains to be seen, but for now Pence is the answer to one of the Astros' questions in the outfield.
It was a streaky season for the young outfielder, whose season batting average fell from .358 at the end of May to .278 at the end of August. He redeemed himself with a torrid September, salvaging what was beginning to look like a disappointing season. The good news for Pence was that he showed greatly improved discipline at the plate all year, cutting his strikeouts down by nearly 15 percent and matching his walk total from 2008 by the end of July. His midseason slump should give you pause, but there's still upside here as he enters his prime.
After bursting onto the scene as a rookie in May 2007, big things were expected out of Pence last season. He suffered the mother of sophomore slumps in the first half, especially in April when he hit .260 with just one home run. However, he rebounded nicely, especially in the power department, and ended up hitting .269 with 25 homers and 83 RBI. He also stole 11 bases, but was caught 10 times. Pence's breakneck style in the outfield a la Eric Byrnes makes him a fan favorite, and we expect a nice bounce back this year. Last year's early season struggles may allow you to get him at a discounted rate in 2009, something a prepared owner should be ready to take advantage of.
Pence was widely considered the Astros' best prospect entering the 2007 season, and his eventual callup to the majors was just a matter of time. With Chris Burke struggling to make the transition to center field, Pence was promoted at the end of April after a strong first month at Triple-A Round Rock. He had a fantastic rookie season, hitting .322 with 17 homers, 30 doubles, nine triples and 11 steals in 456 at-bats. He came in third in the Rookie of the Year voting behind Milwaukee's Ryan Braun and Colorado's Troy Tulowitzki. He was shifted to right field toward the end of the season, and with Houston's acquisition of Michael Bourn, he will stay there for the foreseeable future.
Pence hit .283/.357/.533 with 28 homers, 31 doubles, 95 RBI and 17 stolen bases in 21 chances at Double-A Corpus Christi in 2006. He moves great considering his 6'4'', 220 pound frame, and has good instincts in the outfield. He has plus power to all fields, and has a natural uppercut swing, a la Jim Edmonds. His range is limited for center, and he doesn't have the arm to play right, so his future is likely in left field. He'll start the year at Triple-A Round Rock, and should make his major league debut sometime during the season.
Scouts don't like Pence, describing him as awkward, but the guy has hit since the day he was drafted. He could stand to be challenged, something he should get at Double-A this year. He'll have to hit, as he won't have the range for center field at higher levels. No in-between here: he'll either be headed for the majors or buried by this time next year.
More Fantasy News
Yet to resume baseball activities
OFTexas Rangers  
Back
September 20, 2019
Pence (back) has not yet been cleared to resume baseball activities, T.R. Sullivan of MLB.com reports.
ANALYSIS
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May not return this season
OFTexas Rangers  
Back
September 12, 2019
Pence (back) said he isn't sure if he'll return this season, Evan Grant of The Dallas Morning News reports.
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Not expected back this weekend
OFTexas Rangers  
Back
September 5, 2019
Pence (back) will not join the Rangers for their four-game series in Baltimore, which begins Thursday, Evan Grant of The Dallas Morning News reports.
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Has injection, will join team
OFTexas Rangers  
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September 2, 2019
Pence (back) had an injection in Texas and will likely rejoin his teammates Thursday when the Rangers kick off a series in Baltimore, Bill Ladson of MLB.com reports.
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No return time set
OFTexas Rangers  
Back
September 1, 2019
Pence (hamstring) has not yet resumed baseball activities, T.R. Sullivan of MLB.com reports.
ANALYSIS
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