February 25, 2021

San Francisco Signs Pence, Hamilton (FanGraphs)

I firmly believe that every baseball fan over 15 years of age — old enough to remember 2012 with some clarity — has a story about the day they fell in love with Hunter Pence, who signed a major-league deal with the Giants last week. Mine was the day, sometime in the late fall of 2012, that I watched his San Francisco teammates demonstrate, through the very best impressions they could muster, that they loved him too. From that day forward, I was a fan of every bug-eyed, gangly, corkscrewed swing. I watched with delight as Pence helped bring a third title to San Francisco in 2014 (his second), then in dismay as he faded to a 60 wRC+, -0.8 WAR nadir in 2018 that spelled the end of his first Giants run. In reporting on his 2019 deal with the Rangers, I wrote that:

I’m never optimistic about players’ ability to re-tool their games after 35 — this is increasingly a young man’s sport, and there’s precious little margin to get it right — but in Pence’s case I hope I am wrong, and that Pence makes the roster and contributes for Texas this year. Hunter Pence is not like many we’ve seen before in this game, and we need more like him.

I was wrong. Pence rode a…

Read “San Francisco Signs Pence, Hamilton” at FanGraphs