So Anna, what do you think about the notion that Russell Wilson is better than Andrew Luck?
"[He's] a really complete player... There's not really any weaknesses to his game." - Bill Belichick on Andrew Luck
"Luck has the most diverse skill set of any NFL quarterback" - Ron Jaworski on Andrew Luck being a top 5 QB
1) This is a revealing look at the market. The market (aka the market participants) seems to value the good all-around player. Guys who can hit for some average, some power, field his position well, and be a team leader. Like him or not, Pence is certainly that. Notice that Michael Bourn - a speed guy with 42 SB, but also 150+ K and less than 10 HR - is still looking for a contract as of January 20, 2013.
2) Pence is always a possibility to come up with a big play in the big games. Even when he is going bad. His double in Game 4 of the WS - his lone EBH in the WS - to set the table for Brandon Belt's triple to follow really broke the ice. His sliding catch against St. Louis behind Barry Zito in Game 5 of the NLCS - on the road. Here is the link if you forgot http://nesn.com/2012/10/hunter-pence...rdinals-video/. And few would remember - as we true Giants fans would - when he hit his freak thrice broken bat seeing eye ground ball that got by the SS, he managed to take second base on the play.
3) Pence won't quit. When his calf locked up against the Reds in NLDS Game 3, and the Giants needed him to stay in the game, he did. And he managed to avoid aggravating the injury as well. No offense intended, but would Carlos Beltran have done that?
4) Pence is loaded with intangibles. Fiery pre-game speeches? Check. Big plays in RF? Check. Get the big hit when needed? I say check - his AVG with RISP was a mere .251 in 2012, but he hit over .300 with both a) the bases loaded, and b) with a runner on 3rd and less than 2 outs. That helps explain how he turned a paltry 48 hits into a robust 45 RBI in 59 games this season for the Giants. There are not that many guys who can find a way to help you to win, even when they are going bad. Hunter Pence is one of them.
So what do you get with Hunter Pence? A very good all around player, with intangibles and a knack for doing whatever he can to help you win. Is he MVP material like Giancarlo Stanton? No. Is he loaded with MVP potential like Justin Upton? Perhaps not. But I say, for the Giants - who already have MVP material (Buster Posey) and a guy who is loaded with MVP potential (Pablo Sandoval) - he'll do.
Pence did VERY well in his early arbitration-eligible years. Now the Giants have to pay for them as well. As kar120c said, Pence is amazingly clutch much of the time. If he does well in 2013, he will get a huge reward in free agency from someone. A mediocre season may result in a more reasonable contract demand. If he repeats his 2012 tenure with the Giants, he may have his contract high in 2013!