In the aftermath of his feel-good Giants goodbye, Hunter Pence questioned himself.
The 2018 season was the worst of his career. Pence played just 97 games with San Francisco, and he slashed a career-worst .226/.258/.590. He set out to reinvent his swing and his game the following offseason, but there were doubts.
"They took me out of my role as the starting job," Pence says of his final season at Oracle Park in Fox Sports' "The Pence Method" documentary. "I was trying to give them everything I had as a pinch-hitter. 'Do I still have it? Do I still wanna play?' It was just kind of like they had moved on. It definitely hits your confidence."
As it turns out, the answer to both questions was yes. After a rejuvenating stint in the Dominican Winter League, Pence signed a minor league contract with his hometown Texas Rangers this winter. What has followed is an All-Star season, with Pence being named to the Midsummer Classic as the AL's starting designated hitter.
Pence missed out on the game due to injury, but the 36-year-old entered Friday with a .297/.358/.552 slash line and 18 home runs. The latter is his highest total since 2014.