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11/2011 Player Profile: Torii Hunter

November 28th 2011 15:57
At the age of 36, Anaheim Angels right fielder Torii Hunter is obviously beginning to see a decline in skill. He is still a productive hitter, but his defense has fallen off ever since he has played for the Angels. His defense has been overrated, and those who think Hunter is still one of the best outfielders in baseball would be dead wrong. He's still a solid player, but his offensive value doesn't translate as well into a more hitter-heavy position (right field). The five-year deal worth $90 million dollars that he signed in 2007 has actually been a rather poor one, as Hunter has been worth about $55 million dollars through his first four seasons when he was expected to be worth $72 million through those years. It wasn't a huge mistake, but people who think this was a good deal would also be wrong.

I mainly want to focus on Hunter as a player now, than rather talk about his historical value (that's what the historical player profiles are for). The RF was worth 2.5 WAR last season, as he was solid in the field and decent- not likely to continue- on the bases despite just five stolen bases. With 82 RBIs, 80 runs, and a .332 wOBA, Torii Hunter was an above-average hitter last season. He only hit .262, but his on-base percentage of .336 was solid as were his 23 homers.

One of the most consistent hitters in baseball, Hunter's OBP is usually in the .330's and his home run totals are usually in the low 20's. Next season, he should walk less but hit more home runs and have about the same performance at the plate overall in the last year of his hefty contract.

Although Hunter's career LD% is a measly 17.4%, 21% of his hits were line drives last year. However, liners fluctuate from year to year, so there isn't much that can be drawn out of this. A problem is that Hunter chased more pitches this year, and although he did get more contact out of it chasing pitches hurt his overall value.

Torii Hunter will be 37 years old next season in July, but he has shown relative consistency at the plate; although his skills have understandbely, steadily declined due to age. Hunter is one of those guys who has aged gracefully, and he is still a solid player who provides some offense. It's not stupid to even hint that Hunter has been poor defensively over the past few seasons, because he is way on the wrong side of thirty and was playing center at that age. His play in the field was actually good in right field- a much easier position that requires much less speed out of an older player- thanks to a good arm in right.
109 wRC-plus in 2011
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1 Comments. [ Add A Comment ]

Comment by nbageek

November 29th 2011 03:56
Always liked Hunters game from back in the day at the Twins to current at the Angels. His play is declining for sure, yet he gets a consistent hit

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