San Francisco Giants: Pence Proving It’s About More Than Analytics
The San Francisco Giants and Hunter Pence parted ways at the end of the 2018 season with little chance of reuniting in 2019.
Pence had signed a five year contract with the San Francisco Giants after the 2013 season, and by the time his contract expired on the final day last season, there was doubt Pence could continue to play at the major league level.
So much so, that Pence is in the Dominican Republic trying to find a way back to the major leagues.
Pence signed with Toros del Este, and has been their emotional leader since arriving on the island.
He has already been awarded a player of the game award in his short time in the DR and gave an epic speech while shirtless and wearing a huge ‘T’ medallion.
Pence and the Toros are riding a four game winning streak into the playoffs now, and there is still a chance Pence could finish 2018 with a championship.
Meanwhile, Pence has unsurprisingly been a huge part of the celebrations.
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The former Giant is hitting .250 (6-for-24) with one double, two RBI and two runs scored. Not exactly numbers that scream comeback.
However, to know Pence like Giants fans do is to know that what he brings to a locker room cannot be measured by analytics.
What the Giants might gain in the outfield by adding a player this off-season with a higher on base percentage or better stat cast numbers in the outfield certainly can be measured and might help the Giants win more games.
However, what Pence does each and every day he is around a team that helps the other 24 play with more joy and enthusiasm cannot be calculated.
Will that lead to a major league team calling Pence about a job in 2019? That answer is still unknown. It is also unknown just how much impact Pence truly had in the Giants locker room for more than half a decade.
What is known is how each and every teammate of his praised him unabashedly as he was nearing the end of the season, and what may have been his last major league season as a Giant.
As new president of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi continues to reshape the Giants roster now and in the years to come, how much will personality and love for the game play in his decisions of who makes up a championship roster?
Another statistic we do know for sure: Hunter Pence has two championship rings.