The Most Interesting Hitters to Watch in 2016

Elsa/Getty Images North America

Elsa/Getty Images North America

10. Hunter Pence, OF, San Francisco Giants
After playing in every game in 2014 and 2013, and nearly every game in 2012, Hunter Pence played in only 52 games in 2015. After 5.5 and 4.7 fWAR seasons the previous two seasons, Pence was only able to produce 1.6 fWAR in limited playing time. Pence was still a strong offensive player when he was on the field, as evidenced by his 127 wRC+, but he was only able to stay on the field for less than a third of the season. Pence can’t be blamed for the Giants missing the postseason, but it’s likely that they would have been in a better position if he was healthy all season long.

Going into his age-33 season, Pence has a lot to prove in 2016. Coming off what was one of the most inconsistent and injury-riddled seasons of his career, Pence is looking for a rebound season. With Johnny Cueto and Jeff Samardzija now in San Francisco, expectations are clearly high for the Giants this season. After winning World Series titles in 2010, 2012, and 2014, it is an even year for the Giants in 2016. If the Giants hope to return to the postseason and make their way back to the World Series, Pence is going to have to return from his injury concerns and perform at the level he is capable of.

So far Pence has had further struggles with injuries, making his chances for a bounce back tenuous at best. Even so, the Giants are counting on Pence and hoping he can stay healthy for a full season in 2016.

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