The file on Hunter Pence
Hunter Pence was born and raised in the Dallas suburbs of Fort Worth and Arlington, Texas. Upon graduating from Arlington High School, Pence spent a year at Texarkana Junior College, where after his freshman year the Milwaukee Brewers drafted him in round 40 of the 2002 draft. As a sophomore, the then left-fielder transferred to University of Texas at Arlington. After a .395 average during his junior year campaign, the Houston Astros selected Pence with the No. 64 pick of the 2004 draft.
The 6-foot-4 right-fielder began his pro career in the New York Penn League before moving up the ranks to Double-A in 2006. Prior to the 2007 season, Pence ranked No. 38 on the Baseball America prospect list. After 25 games at Triple-A, he was called up to the Houston Astros. Pence thrived as a rookie center fielder with a .322 average, 17 home runs and 69 RBI. He finished third in the Rookie of the Year voting.
Pence became the Astros full-time right-fielder in 2008. The former second-round pick led the National League in 2008 and 2009 with 16 outfield assists. Pence hit 25 home runs in three consecutive seasons and in 2009 was named to his first All-Star Game. He was once again named to the All-Star Game in 2011 as a reserve after hitting.321 with 10 home runs and 59 RBI in the first half of the season. On July 29, 2011 he was traded to the Philadelphia Phillies for four minor-leaguers.
Pence finished the 2011 campaign with 22 home runs, 97 RBI and a .314 average. Not only did he hit his first home run off of Madison Bumgarner on Aug. 4, but he helped lead the Phillies to an NL East title and playoff berth. He went 4-19 with 4 RBI as the Phillies lost to the St. Louis Cardinals, three games to two. Pence was in the midst of another stellar season in 2012 (17 home runs in 101 games) before he was traded to the San Francisco Giants for Nate Schierholtz and two minor-leaguers.
Welcome to the Giants
Although Pence struggled statistically after being traded to the Giants with a .219 average and seven home runs in 59 games, he became the unquestioned motivational leader in the locker room. Prior to Game 3 of the NLDS, with the Giants down 2-0 against the Reds, Pence gave an inspirational speech to his teammates. The Giants then won three straight to move forward to the NLCS. Pence kept motivating as the Giants knocked off the St. Louis Cardinals four games to three, then swept the Tigers to win the World Series.
Start of 2013
Pence started all 162 games for the Giants in 2013. He started the season relatively slow in the first half of the season -- .262/.305/.455 with 48 RBI in 94 games. The Arlington alum started to heat up in 29 August games with a .306 average and 16 RBI. On Aug. 27 he took Chad Bettis of the Rockies deep for a colossal 476 foot home run.
On Sept. 1 Pence went 3-4 with a home run in an 8-2 win over the Arizona Diamondbacks. That game set the tone for the entire month, in which he hit 11 home runs and drove in 32 runs. He followed that up on Sept. 14 when he belted his first career grand slam and drove in a career-high 7 RBI in a 19-3 rout of the Dodgers. The right fielder was named NL Player of the Week Sept. 16 after hitting .448 with six home runs and 19 RBI.
Pence finished 2013 with career-highs in home runs (27) and stolen bases (22). He became the seventh Giants player to hit 20 home runs and swipe 20 bases after his Sept. 10 long ball. On Sept. 27 Pence won the Willie Mac given to the player that exemplifies the spirit and leadership shown by Willie McCovey. On Sept. 28, 2013 the Giants and Pence agreed on a five-year, $90 million extension, which includes a full no-trade clause.
Title No. 2
Hunter Pence earned his third career All-Star nomination in 2014 when he hit .277 with 20 home runs, 106 runs and 74 RBI. For the second consecutive season, he started all 162 games for the Giants. And for the second time in the past three seasons, he riled up fans during the ticker-tape parade down Market Street after the Giants won the World Series, defeating the Royals in Game 7 in Kansas City.
Hunter Pence's streak of 383 games played came to an end on Opening Day of the 2015 season. Pence suffered a fractured forearm when he was hit by Padres' Corey Black in the third spring exhibition on March 5 and missed the first 36 games of the season.