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2011 Fantasy Projections, No. 60: What Does Houston Astros’ Hunter Pence Have in Common With Carlos Gonzalez & Joey Votto?

Wed, Mar 2, 2011

Big Board, Player Projections

Our 2011 fantasy baseball projections will be released one-by-one until the top 100 players have been revealed. These rankings consider past achievements, current performance and expected future results based on standard 5×5 H2H settings.

Hunter Pence has a rare skill set that goes unnoticed by most fantasy managers because he plays on a futile Houston team. The fact is however, Pence was one of only three players in 2010 (Carlos Gonzalez and Joey Votto) to post at least 90 runs, 25 HRs, 90 RBI, 15 steals and a .280 batting average. He doesn’t stand out in any one category, but Pence sure does have a well-rounded game

2010 also marked the third consecutive year in which Pence has improved his strikeout rate, and was the first year in his career in which he posted an 80 percent contact rate.

Another thing that’s stuck out in Pence’s short baseball career has been his consistency. Over the last three seasons, Pence has played in 157, 159 and 156 games and has hit exactly 25 HRs each year. His batting average (.269, .282, .282) appears to have settled in, while his below-average skills on the base paths are slowly improving:

  • 2008: 11-for-21 (52 percent)
  • 2009: 14-for-25 (56 percent)
  • 2010: 18-for-27 (67 percent)

Not only has Pence attempted more steals each season, but he’s improved his success rate. Progress is important to see in young players, and the 27-year-old Pence (he’ll turn 28 in April) has shown marked improvements in his strikeout and contact rates, as well as his base running efficiency.

While the Astros’ lineup is young and very inexperienced, a bounce back season from cleanup hitter Carlos Lee would go a long way in helping Pence (the No. 3 hitter) reach 100 runs and 100 RBI for the first time in his career.

  PA R HR RBI SB AVG
2010 stats 658 93 25 91 18 .282
3-year average 649 82 25 82 14 .278
2011 FBI Forecast 650 95 24 95 20 .285

 

Image courtesy of: Steven Boyd

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