Bay Area Sports: Ranking the Top 30 Players

24 of 31

Jul 21, 2015; San Diego, CA, USA; San Francisco Giants right fielder Hunter Pence (8) singles during the sixth inning against the San Diego Padres at Petco Park. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

#8 – Hunter Pence, San Francisco Giants

The words “pretty” and “fundamental” are not in Hunter Pence’s vocabulary, but he makes an ugly swing look good. His big bat in the middle of the lineup and non-stop hustle in every facet of the game makes him one of the most valuable, and most popular, Giants’ players. His value was extremely evident in 2015, both by his presence and his absence.

Pence’s 2015 season was stopped and started multiple times by a few different injuries. When he was able to make his way into the starting lineup, the Giants were 34-17. Without Pence, they struggled to a 50-61 record. If Pence was there for an entire season, who knows what could have been for the 2015 Giants.

After being acquired during the 2012 season, Pence immediately became a fan favorite by the Bay. His offensive production wasn’t great that year, but his motivational speeches in the postseason became legendary as the Giants won their second World Series in three years. Since then, Pence has become a fantastic run producer and even better teammate (even bitter, old Pablo Sandoval missed Pence) as the Giants have continued their dynastic run.

Before the injuries, this season to both his wrist and his oblique, Pence had been an extremely durable, having played every game over the past two years. And as the old saying goes, “the best ability is availability”.

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