Trading Places: Jayson Werth and Hunter Pence
Instead of envy or regret though, most Philly fans will be seeing Werth in a different light thanks to the acquisition of Hunter Pence.
When the season first started, the biggest question in the Phillies lineup was who was going to replace Werth’s numbers? For much of the season it became a platoon situation with Domonic Brown and Ben Francisco sharing time in the outfield.
Neither really produced the way the Phillies had hoped for. Francisco has struggled, batting just .222 this season with only six home runs and 31 RBI. Brown didn’t fare much better, batting only .246 with five home runs and 19 RBI.
Francisco offered Ryan Howard little protection and Brown added another left-handed bat to an already lefty-heavy batting lineup. It was clear that the Phillies needed to look elsewhere to fill the void left by Werth.
Just like last season, the Phillies turned to the Houston Astros and acquired another one of their star players, Hunter Pence.
Ever since Pence’s arrival, the Phillies lineup finally feels complete. The right-handed power bat that the lineup was sorely missing finally seemed to arrive via Pence.
With Werth back in town, one can’t help but compare the Phillies past No. 5 hitter against their current one.
Taking a look at their stats, the Phillies might have gotten themselves a better version of Jayson Werth. Ever since Pence’s arrival into the Majors in 2007, he and Werth have had very comparable stats.
Stats Comparison since 2007
|Hunter Pence||Jayson Werth|
|Home Runs - 106||Home Runs - 109|
|RBI - 388||RBI - 345|
|BA - .291||BA - .272|
|Strikeouts - 530||Strikeouts - 617|
|OPS - .820||OPS - .847|
Both players have good power numbers. But the thing that makes Pence’s numbers more impressive is the fact that he was able to produce those numbers while playing for the Houston Astros most of his career, a team that had little talent surrounding him.
Also, both Pence and Werth are athletic, making them good base-runners and outfielders. However, Pence seems to have a more aggressive approach, whether he is playing defense or is up to bat. That is a trait that seems to sit better with Philly fans, as opposed to Werth’s more laid back approach.
Another important thing to note is that Hunter Pence is almost four years younger than Jayson Werth.
Werth will also be making an average annual salary of $18 million per year until he is near the age of 40. Hunter Pence, on the other hand, is under contract until 2013 and is arbitration eligible the next two years, but will still most likely cost the Phillies less than what they would have had to pay Werth.
Overall, the Phillies might turn out to be a better team with Pence than they ever were with Werth. It also seems as if the Phillies and Braves will be in contention for the foreseeable future and despite some up and coming prospects for the Nationals, Werth might find himself in a spot where Pence was for much of his career—playing for a team at the bottom of the division.
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