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Angel Pagan became a fan favorite in San Francisco.
Hunter Pence joined the Giants just before the trade deadline last year. Although he hit only .219 in the final 59 games of the regular season, Pence found a way to drive in 45 runs.
Pence is in the final year of his contract and appears poised to have a big year. He wants to stay in San Francisco on a long-term deal, so his performance this season will go a long way to determining his future.
Pence also became famous for his intense motivational speeches, which helped the Giants rally from deficits to defeat the Reds and Cardinals in the NL playoffs.
Angel Pagan had an excellent year in 2012, batting .288, with eight home runs and 56 RBI. He solidified the leadoff position for the Giants and scored 95 runs and stole 29 bases. Pagan also set a franchise record with 15 triples.
After some shaky moments early in the season, Pagan became more comfortable and did a fine job defensively in center field.
Defense in left field will not be an issue as long as Gregor Blanco and Andres Torres are platooning. Blanco will get the majority of the playing time, as he will play against right hand pitchers. Facing lefties, Andres Torres will get plenty of starts.
The fifth outfield job was up for grabs at the start of spring training. Roger Kieschnick, Brett Pill, Francisco Peguero and Cole Gillespie all were in the mix.
Kieschnick played himself out of the job by hitting only .194. Pill is also out, as he will start the season on the DL, following knee surgery.
Out of Peguero and Gillespie, Peguero has had the best spring, hitting .333, compared to Gillespie's .288. The issue for the Giants is that Peguero is only 24 years of age and they would like him to play every day to get consistent at-bats.
Since the at-bats for Peguero would be severely limited, especially early in the season, expect him to open the year in Fresno. Gillespie makes the team based on his experience as a reserve outfielder. Gillespie is 28 years of age and handled the reserve role with the Arizona Diamondbacks in 2010.
This is a tough call, but in the interest of Peguero's long-term development, he needs to play every day, which would not happen in San Francisco. Gillespie opens the year on the Giants' big league roster.