Sporting News selects Rangers OF/DH Hunter Pence as AL Comeback Player of the Year

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Texas Rangers' Hunter Pence (24) is congratulated after his inside the park home run in the sixth inning of a baseball game against the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park in Boston, Tuesday, June 11, 2019. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)

Arlington, Texas — Texas Rangers outfielder/designated hitter Hunter Pence has been selected as Sporting News American League Comeback Player of the Year for 2019, it was announced by the publication on Wednesday afternoon.  He was selected for the award via player voting.

Pence, 36, posted a .297/.358/.552/.910 slash line with 18 home runs and 59 RBI over 83 games in 2019, his first season with the Rangers.  The Arlington native earned his fourth career All-Star selection (also 2009, 2011, 2014) and registered his highest home run total since 2014 (20 HR with San Francisco).

Pence is the eighth different Texas player to win the Sporting News A.L. honors, the second-most winners for any team since the award’s inception in 1965, as only the Los Angeles Dodgers (9) have a higher figure.  The other seven Rangers to take the SN award: Ferguson Jenkins (1974), Jose Guzman (1991), Jose Canseco (1994), Kevin Elster (1996), Ruben Sierra (2001), Vladimir Guerrero (2010), and Prince Fielder (2015).

WINTER BALL UPDATES: OF Bubba Thompson (Surprise Saguaros) ranks T6th in the Arizona Fall League with 3 home runs…INF Jax Biggers (Surprise Saguaros) ranks among AFL leaders in stolen bases (T4th, 4) and walks (T6th, 11)…RHP Josh Advocate (Surprise Saguaros) has allowed 1 R-0 ER over 9 games/11.1 innings in the AFL, posting a 0.62 WHIP figure and .081 (3-37) opponent batting average…RHP Cole Uvila (Surprise Saguaros) is 2-0 with a 2.79 ERA (3 ER/9.2 IP) across 8 relief appearances in the AFL…OF Leody Taveras (Cibaenas) has batted .385 (5-13) with a walk, zero strikeouts, and one steal over his first 6 games with the Aguilas in the Dominican Winter League…RHP Demarcus Evans (Escogido) has 3 games in the DWL (2.2 IP/1 R-ER), pitching for a Leones squad that is managed by Rangers Major League Player Development Field Coordinator Jayce Tingler…Escogido, which also features RHP Austin Bibens-Dirkx (3.2 IP/1 R-ER in 3 G), has an 8-1 record and is currently in first place in the DWL.

From Rangers PR staff reports