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.
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ORIGINAL ARTICLE: FANTASY BASEBALL INSIDERS
Latest from Fantasy Baseball Insiders:
- Adam Wainwright to Undergo Tommy John Surgery: Updated Pitcher Rankings
- Keeper Conundrum: Bryce Harper or Mike Trout?
Fantasy Baseball Insiders’ 2011 Big Board:
- Top 50 (projections included): Is Pujols Still the Top Pick?
- No. 51: Ubaldo Jimenez
- No. 52: Rickie Weeks
- No. 53: Derek Jeter
- No. 54: Adam Dunn
- No. 55: Justin Morneau
- No. 56: Justin Verlander
- No. 57: Chris Carpenter
- No. 58: CC Sabathia
- No. 59: Jay Bruce
MLB Trades: Fantasy Impact:
- Frank Francisco Traded to the Blue Jays, Who Will Be The Team’s Closer?
- Mike Napoli Traded to the Texas Rangers: Fantasy Impact
- Vernon Wells Traded to the Los Angeles Angels: Fantasy Impact
Previous articles from Fantasy Baseball Insiders:
- Guerrero to Baltimore: Why He’s Better Off in Camden Yards than Rangers Ballpark
- The Sub-2.50 ERA Curse: Why Five Elite Starting Pitchers May Regress in 2011
- 2010 Batting Average on Balls in Play Leaders: What to Expect in 2011?
- 2011 Closer’s Corner: Papelbon, Cordero & Rivera Are the Only Reliable Options