Torii Hunter. Number two in the batting order, number one in our hearts. Through the Angels acquisition of Albert Pujols, to the awful start to the season and then the resurgence led by Mike Trout and Mark Trumbo, Hunter’s name is rarely brought up these days. Not cool, people.
Since being moved to the number two spot in the order on June 8, Hunter has been a solid as a rock .325/.366/.469. Stretch his 42 game average at the two-hole over a season and you have the 37 year old who knocks 20 home runs, drives in 112 runs and scores 116 himself. He’s certainly not walking a lot for that position but how can he seeing the pitches he gets between Trout and Pujols.
The only time we’ve heard anything but a passing thought on Hunter this year is when he met with Scioscia to volunteer his position so the red hot Trumbo would have a place to play. He then had some family issues that kept him from the team for a week. He’s been below the radar on a team that finally has some light shed on them. Maybe that’s helping him thrive, who knows.
It will be interesting to see what the Angels do after the season with Hunter who’s in the last year of 5 yr./$90 million contract. It looks like Peter Bourjos is going to survive the trade deadline and that may not bode well for Hunter. We’ve all seen the two spot in the batting order without him and Erick Aybar, Maicer Izturis, Howie Kendrick and Bourjos ain’t doing it. I’d be happy if a 2yr./$10-12 million was offered and accepted and we can get back to showing him some love, or at least acknowledging him.