Trading Places: Jayson Werth and Hunter Pence

Mayank S.Contributor IAugust 14, 2011

LOS ANGELES, CA - AUGUST 08:  Shane Victorino #8 of the Philadelphia Phillies celebrates his run with Hunter Pence for a 4-1 lead over the Los Angeles Dodgers during the seventh inning at Dodger Stadium on August 8, 2011 in Los Angeles, California.  (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
Harry How/Getty Images

Jayson Werth was back in Philadelphia this weekend. Playing for the Washington Nationals, Phillies fans will continue to see a lot of the right-handed slugger for the next couple of years.

Instead of envy or regret though, most Philly fans will be seeing Werth in a different light thanks to the acquisition of Hunter Pence.

When the season first started, the biggest question in the Phillies lineup was who was going to replace Werth’s numbers? For much of the season it became a platoon situation with Domonic Brown and Ben Francisco sharing time in the outfield.

Neither really produced the way the Phillies had hoped for. Francisco has struggled, batting just .222 this season with only six home runs and 31 RBI. Brown didn’t fare much better, batting only .246 with five home runs and 19 RBI.

Francisco offered Ryan Howard little protection and Brown added another left-handed bat to an already lefty-heavy batting lineup. It was clear that the Phillies needed to look elsewhere to fill the void left by Werth.

Just like last season, the Phillies turned to the Houston Astros and acquired another one of their star players, Hunter Pence.

Ever since Pence’s arrival, the Phillies lineup finally feels complete. The right-handed power bat that the lineup was sorely missing finally seemed to arrive via Pence.

ATLANTA, GA - JULY 16: Jayson Werth #28 of the Washington Nationals walks back to the dugout after a strike out in the game against the Atlanta Braves on July 16, 2011 at Turner Field in Atlanta, Georgia. The Nationals beat the Braves 5-2. (Photo by Danie
Daniel Shirey/Getty Images

With Werth back in town, one can’t help but compare the Phillies past No. 5 hitter against their current one.

Taking a look at their stats, the Phillies might have gotten themselves a better version of Jayson Werth. Ever since Pence’s arrival into the Majors in 2007, he and Werth have had very comparable stats.

Stats Comparison since 2007

Hunter Pence Jayson Werth
Home Runs - 106 Home Runs - 109
RBI - 388 RBI - 345
BA - .291  BA - .272
Strikeouts - 530 Strikeouts - 617
OPS - .820 OPS - .847

Both players have good power numbers. But the thing that makes Pence’s numbers more impressive is the fact that he was able to produce those numbers while playing for the Houston Astros most of his career, a team that had little talent surrounding him.

Also, both Pence and Werth are athletic, making them good base-runners and outfielders. However, Pence seems to have a more aggressive approach, whether he is playing defense or is up to bat. That is a trait that seems to sit better with Philly fans, as opposed to Werth’s more laid back approach.

Another important thing to note is that Hunter Pence is almost four years younger than Jayson Werth.

Werth will also be making an average annual salary of $18 million per year until he is near the age of 40. Hunter Pence, on the other hand, is under contract until 2013 and is arbitration eligible the next two years, but will still most likely cost the Phillies less than what they would have had to pay Werth.

Overall, the Phillies might turn out to be a better team with Pence than they ever were with Werth. It also seems as if the Phillies and Braves will be in contention for the foreseeable future and despite some up and coming prospects for the Nationals, Werth might find himself in a spot where Pence was for much of his career—playing for a team at the bottom of the division.


    Ohtani Surrenders HR, Strikes Out 2 in Debut

    MLB logo

    Ohtani Surrenders HR, Strikes Out 2 in Debut

    Mike Chiari
    via Bleacher Report

    Phillies Bringing Veterans Stadium Bell to CBP by 2019

    Philadelphia Phillies logo
    Philadelphia Phillies

    Phillies Bringing Veterans Stadium Bell to CBP by 2019

    That Balls Outta Here
    via That Balls Outta Here

    Ten Ways to Improve Major League Baseball

    MLB logo

    Ten Ways to Improve Major League Baseball

    Clarity Could Come on Martinez on Saturday

    MLB logo

    Clarity Could Come on Martinez on Saturday

    NBC Sports Boston
    via NBC Sports Boston