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Making sense of Hunter Pence returning to the San Francisco Giants

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It’s 2020. Hunter Pence is back on the San Francisco Giants, according to Jon Heyman.

Pablo Sandoval and Hunter Pence are Giants for the 2020 MLB season. Madison Bumgarner is not. Rebuilds can get weird.

Aside from trying to motivate a fan base that was frustrated at the losses of Bumgarner and Kevin Pillar, Pence’s signing isn’t straight forward to understand. The veteran outfielder played just over 20 games away from DH for the Texas Rangers last season. The Giants are building for the future.

Pence had a bounce back that earned him an All-Star berth in 2019. Only playing 83 games, however, durability is a major concern for a player heading into his age-37 season. The Giants aren’t risking prospects or finances on a deal like this, though, and will surely be happy to add Pence to Gabe Kapler‘s clubhouse.

There are few better leaders in the big leagues than Pence. He inspired the comeback in 2012, he is a larger-than-life character. A lead by saying and a lead by doing type of teammate. His return to prominence in 2019 was testament to that – it was no lucky strike, it was the result of months of hard work.


He played winter ball in the Dominican League. In his final year with the Giants, he tried to make swing changes. Pence wasn’t letting his career slip through his fingers without a fight, and that’s the attitude the Giants will want to see passed on to their young players.

Beyond the lockerroom, Pence can still be a productive hitter. The Giants need any offence they can find – only Miami and Detroit scored fewer runs last season. Finishing with the third-lowest runs scored total was, staggeringly, an improvement on the two years previous.

Oft-injured Alex Dickerson remains on the roster, the left-handed outfielder hit a hot streak in orange and black last season. He’s a platoon guy, though, with just a .661 OPS against lefties.

Step forward, Hunter Andrew Pence. The four-time All-Star mashed lefties last season to the tune of a 1.015 OPS.

Leftie-crusher and clubhouse leader is a role made for Hunter Pence. Whatever the front office’s reasoning, Oracle Park will be delighted to see one of their all-time fan favourites return.


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