Hunter Pence has declined, significantly, and it’s time to accept that. Pence had never had a wRC+ under 100 over his entire career, and in 2017 he landed with a miserable 87. For those who don’t understand how to measure the stat, it means he performed 13% under league average in terms of offense. That’s awful.
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What probably hurt the Giants the most was his significant drop off in power. Pence had less than a .400 slugging percentage for the first time in his career. He had 13 homers, 13 doubles, and five triples. Miserable. With Pence being a guy the Giants were relying on to get the “big hits,” it was clear in June they just weren’t going to come from him. He got things on track at the end of the year. But that still can’t undo the months of putrid plate appearances.
The thing with him defensively, is his decline already happened, people just didn’t really notice it. He actually had the same DRS and UZR numbers when it came to advanced stats, as he did in 2017! Where we lost him though was in the fielding chances considered “even” (40-60% chance to catch) by inside edge. Pence over his career has hit anywhere between 40-60% on those. But in 2017, he only caught 20% of those chances while having the most of those chances since his rookie year.
Five assists and one error doesn’t scream “Awful” in outfield defense, but some of the balls he used to catch, aren’t getting caught anymore, which does hurt the defense quite a bit.
That will do it for the outfielder’s grades portion of our series. Here is the publish dates of the rest of these player grades. While this one was a little late going out, the rest will be on schedule.
- Outfielders: Oct. 7th
- Infielders: Oct. 7th
- Starters: Oct. 8th
- Bullpen: Oct. 9th
- Catchers: Oct. 10th
- Management: Oct. 11th