PHOENIX, AZ - FILE: National League All-Star Hunter Pence #9 of the Houston Astros reacts during the 82nd MLB All-Star Game at Chase Field on July 12, 2011 in Phoenix, Arizona. According to reports on July 29, 2011 Pence has been traded to the Philadelphia Phillies. (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)
Some of these Astros History's I haven't had an opportunity to really speak from memory. Partly because I wasn't born and partly because I was living in a time before MLB.tv. One period I can speak to is Hunter Pence as a major leaguer and prospect and he's who we'll be covering today.
Drafted out of the University of Texas at Arlington in the second round of the 2004 amateur draft, Pence made his Major League debut in 2007. Prior to that season he got the fan base excited by hitting close to .500 in Spring Training. Upper management thought it better that despite his Spring he start the year in the Minor Leagues and so he did. He couldn't be held in AAA.
In 25 games he hit .326/.387/.558, before the month was out he was called up to Houston. In his debut he went 1-3 with a run scored, his next game he went 2-4 and from there it was nothing but good vibes. In 108 games he would post a .322/.360/.539 line, which calculates out to a 129 OPS+. Digging deeper we find 17 homeruns, nine triples, 30 doubles, and 147 hits overall.
Hunter Pence would go on to post a 117 OPS+ in his five seasons with Houston as well as become a fan favorite. I know a lot of people were disappointed when he was traded, but the players Ed Wade got in return could all become fan favorites. All it will require is a little patience. Jonathan Singleton and Jarred Cosart are on the brink of making their Major League debuts and Domingo Santana is tearing it up in the Minor Leagues. Josh Zeid the forgotten player in the trade, may end up pitching in some of the more crucial situations in a game.
Hunter Pence was the future, but unfortunately the pieces surrounding him never happened and Ed Wade was forced to trade him for some even younger future pieces. How much he helped the Astros as of yet is to be determined, but as a player in an Astros uniform he was a pretty good player.