Brewers Almost Had Hunter Pence
Oct 31, 2014; San Francisco, CA, USA; San Francisco Giants right fielder Hunter Pence (8) waves to the crowd during the World Series victory parade on Market Street. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports
As the 2002 June Amateur Draft was winding down, the Milwaukee Brewers used their 40th Round pick to select a lanky, unpolished gem of a player from Texarkana (TX) College.
Pence had played mostly as a DH at the Texas school and was waiting for a scholarship spot to open up at the University of Texas-Arlington. Why he refused to sign with Milwaukee is speculation, but the smart money says there was not enough money offered for the 1,189th player chosen in that year’s draft.
Pence played two years at UT-Arlington and was picked in the second round of the 2004 Draft by the Houston Astros and signed for $575,000.
The Fort Worth native spent three and one-half years in the minors and made his big league debut on April 28, 2007, one month before Ryan Braun played his first game as a Milwaukee Brewer.
The gangly outfielder was third in 2007 N.L. Rookie of the Year balloting, trailing winner Braun and Colorado shortstop Troy Tulowitzki.
Not bad company for Pence in his first big league season.
Pence recently completed his eighth major league season and was one of the heroes for the San Francisco Giants in their recent World Series triumph. Pence batted .444 (12-for-27) in the Series and knocked in five runs, and also banged out three doubles and one home run.
If the Brewers’ crystal ball had been a bit clearer, Pence might have been a Milwaukee Brewer.