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Can Hunter Pence keep up his hot pace in 2012?
When you have one of the top three pitchers in the game to go with a real offensive threat, you get a great combo. Obviously Roy Halladay gives the team a boost in the rankings, as Hunter Pence may not be as good as some of the other hitters in the top five, but Pence is still very good.
Pence hit .314 with 22 homers and 97 runs batted in last year, but the 28-year-old really broke out after being traded to the Phillies at the deadline. In 54 games with the team, Pence hit .324 with 11 homers and 35 runs batted in, helping the team run away with the NL East.
Obviously the team has other guys in the mix for this spot, like Shane Victorino, Chase Utley and Ryan Howard, but the way Pence broke out in a hitter's park with a better lineup around him was a good sign of things to come.
Halladay has won Cy Young Awards in both the American and National Leagues and was the runner-up to Clayton Kershaw this year. Halladay went 19-6 with a 2.35 ERA and 220 strikeouts. For his career he has 188 wins and a 3.23 ERA, especially impressive considering he spent all but two seasons in the tough AL East. As good as he is, he has Cliff Lee and Cole Hamels breathing down his neck for this spot.
The Phillies combo is very impressive and could challenge the Tigers and Dodgers combos if Pence keeps up the pace he was on down the stretch. Even if he can't keep that pace up, he's a two-time All-Star.