In his 15 seasons in Major League Baseball with the Minnesota Twins and Los Angeles Angels, right fielder Torii Hunter has had the opportunity to match up against some of the toughest pitchers in all of baseball. While he had his share of success with some of them, it doesn’t necessarily mean that he is anxious to face them again.
On Friday night against the New York Yankees, Hunter faced starting pitcher Ivan Nova for the very first time, going 0-for-2 with a walk, his last at-bat a wicked liner back up the middle that nearly took Nova’s head off.
Hunter is well-known as one of the hardest working players in all of baseball, and there’s no doubt that he will take Friday night’s experience against Nova and file it away for future reference.
On Saturday night, before the second game of the series with the Yankees, Hunter was presented with a special crystal trophy in honor of his 1,000th lifetime RBI, collected on May 30 against the Kansas City Royals. Hunter became the 269th player in major league history to achieve that feat.
With his vast experience and knowledge, Hunter fully knows what it takes to prepare for each team and each of its pitchers.
In a wide-ranging interview, Hunter talked to Bleacher Report about facing pitchers for the first time, his success against certain pitchers and a list of the nastiest pitchers that he has ever faced from each American League team.
All quotes and sound bites in this slideshow were acquired via first-hand reporting on site at Angels Stadium as a credentialed representative of Bleacher Report, Inc.
Doug Mead is a featured columnist with Bleacher Report. His work has been featured on the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, SF Gate, CBS Sports, the Los Angeles Times and the Houston Chronicle. Follow Doug on Twitter, @Sports_A_Holic.