Ranking the N.L. West in 2015: Right Field

By David Hill
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Mandatory Credit: Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

3. Hunter Pence/Nori Aoki

Hunter Pence is certainly an interesting individual. He plays the game with an intensity that is truly fun to watch. Pence has earned the unique sobriquet “Captain Underpants” through his unique style of play, and probably for other reasons that we do not want to know about. He also bears a strong resemblance to the Home Alone character Marv Merchants, played by Daniel Stern.

However, despite these unique qualities, Pence is an excellent all around outfielder. He produced a .277/.332/.445 batting line with 20 home runs and 13 stolen bases last year while playing solid defense in right. On a Giants team that lost Pablo Sandoval in the offseason, he is going to be a major part of their ability to contend.

So why is he only ranked third? Well, Pence is likely to miss the first month of the season due to a fractured forearm, making the light hitting Nori Aoki the Giants starting right fielder for the time being. While Aoki has solid on base skills and decent speed, he is no where near the player that Pence is either in the batters box or in the outfield. His often adventurous routes to fly balls and defense can best be summed up in this video.

A healthy Hunter Pence is one of the best right fielders in baseball. Hopefully, for the Diamondbacks chances, he takes his time coming back from this injury.

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