Friday, February 20, 2009

A Fantasy Baseball Guy talks about Hunter Pence

Let's just get one thing clear here, okay? Nobody talks about their fantasy baseball team to anyboddy else. That said, I'm okay with using fantasy baseball as a platform for talking about the Astros, because I see the value in fantasy baseball - I just swear to you right here and now that I will not be telling you about my team.

So Jason Grey of ESPN offered up what we might expect from Hunter Pence in 2009.

Although Pence's contact rate remained stable, it wasn't always quality contact. Too often, he chased after pitches, especially breaking balls out of the strike zone, on which he could merely put his bat on the ball. Instead, he could've waited for offerings he could drive. The scouting reports made their rounds, and as a result, he saw sliders at a higher rate than any other hitter in the big leagues, according to data from Baseball Info Solutions. He could still catch up with the sliders, but he didn't always make hard contact. Combine that with a first-pitch swing percentage (37.9 percent) that was the fifth-highest in the National League, and you can see why Pence struggled a bit, even as he still put up some solid fantasy stats.

With a selectively aggressive approach, Grey goes on to say, Pence can improve.

Pence drew more walks as the season progressed, and his slugging percentage was more than 100 points higher after the All-Star break than before it. Second-half numbers have far less predictive value than most think, but there is some merit to them for players who have little big league experience, as they can show how a player is adapting.

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