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7/18/1975 (41 y, 8 m, 8 d)
1993 June Amateur Draft - Round: 1, Pick: 20, Overall: 20, Team: Minnesota Twins
$10.5M / 1 Years (2015)
Hunter has retired from baseball, the Minneapolis Star Tribune reports. (10/26/2015)
Torii Hunter on (Data-Free) Outfield Defense
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August Fagerstrom (FanGraphs)
(Click Year to Expand /
Year in Review:
Hunter was on pace to set personal bests in nearly every offensive category before suffering a strained adductor muscle which sidelined him for more than five weeks. He did set career marks in AVG (.299), OBP (.366), OPS (.873), and wOBA (.379). Hunter’s success came from being more selective at the plate. After swinging at over 51% of pitches each year in his career, his Swing% dropped to 46.1% last season. And when he did swing, Hunter hammered fastballs. He was 16.5 runs above average while hitting the fastball after never being in double-digits above average previously. The extra patience did result in more strikeouts – his K% of 20.4 was his highest since 2002 – but it also led to more walks. Hunter’s 9.4 BB% was his best mark since a six-game cup of coffee in 1998 and his BB/K of 0.51 was the second-highest mark of his career.
The Year Ahead:
The career-best mark in average was fueled by a .335 BABIP, 22 points above his mark in 2008 and 32 points above his lifetime mark in the category. Hunter’s batted-ball profile had him right around his career marks in most categories. He had fewer infield hits than normal, but that was negated by fewer infield pop-ups. It is likely that Hunter will fall off some in average but that should be made up in the counting categories. His HR/FB rate of 16.8% was slightly above his career mark and one he should be able to match next season. Always a solid contributor in stolen bases, Hunter enjoyed the best percentage rate of his career last year, as he was successful on 82% of his attempts. A 25-25 (homers-steals) year is within reach for Hunter in 2010. (Brian Joura)
Hunter has long had a little bit of everything: power, speed, defense. Unfortunately, he's 35 now and squarely in his decline phase. His 2010 ISO tied a career low (.183), his defense slipped enough to move him off of center field for Peter Bourjos, and he failed to steal double-digit bases for the first time since 2003. It's probably even worse than that, since his Bill James' four-component speed score was a career low (2.5, 5.0 is average) in 2010. He can still hit 20 home runs, and he'll steal a handful of bases, but he probably won't challenge 20/20 any more. And, with his mediocre plate-discipline stats (7.2 BB% and 19.4 K% career), he has shown mediocre batting averages every other year or so. In leagues that break out the outfield positions, he'll have one more year as a sneaky strong center fielder, but regular mixed-league drafters should move him down their boards as his stolen-base totals dwindle. (Eno Sarris)
The Quick Opinion:
Unless he's a center fielder (and not an OF) or you're in a deep league, Hunter is best left for the very end of your draft. His speed is dissipating and his power and batting averages were never the main draw.
Even though Hunter is more well known for his defensive abilities, he’s shown the ability to be a very good fantasy outfielder in years past. Before the 2011 season, Hunter had hit at least 20 dingers in ten of the last eleven years, and the center fielder had hit at least .275 each of the past five years. Age has finally taken its toll on Hunter, as the Angels were forced to move him to a corner outfield spot, while at the same time, his offensive production dipped off. Hunter still hit over 20 homers last year, but his batting average fell to .262 behind an increased strikeout rate. While he is certainly declining, his upcoming age-36 season could be one worthy of fantasy owners’ time. Hunter will still be able to hit about 20 homers in 2012, and if he can simply hit .270, all will be well thanks to his other counting stats. (Zach Sanders)
The Quick Opinion:
Hunter is declining, but he still has a good chance for a productive fantasy campaign in 2012. If you think he can play 150 games and hit .270, Hunter will be a nice third outfielder for your squad.
Torii Hunter has moved on to play for the defending American League champion Detroit Tigers after five seasons in Los Angeles. Hunter’s years as an Angel were productive – he hit .286 and averaged 21 homers a year – and he ended his time with a bang, hitting .313 while slugging 16 bombs. Hunter’s 2012 numbers were not fully representative of Hunter’s declining talent, however, as his batting average on balls in play was .389 and his strikeout rate was at an all-time high. Tiger Stadium is friendlier to right-handed hitters than Angel Stadium, so Hunter should be able to have a solid 2013 campaign while hitting in front of Prince Fielder and Miguel Cabrera. Don’t count on him to lead you in any single category, but you can do worse for your third outfield spot in mixed leagues. (Zach Sanders)
The Quick Opinion:
Torii Hunter has moved on to play for the defending American League champion Detroit Tigers after five seasons in Los Angeles, and he’s moving into a friendlier stadium. Don’t count on Hunter to lead you in any single category, but you can do worse for your third outfield spot in mixed leagues. (Zach Sanders)
For the better part of his long career, Torii Hunter was about power, speed and defense. Between stealing home runs with his glove, he hit about one and a quarter grounders for every fly ball, and that led to 30-plus homers in a good year, with 20 or so stolen bases to boot. Two years ago, his declining power pushed him to the second spot in the Angels order, and he
decided to hit more ground balls
in order to get on base and get people over. That might just be a nice story he tells himself as his batting average on balls in play inflates, and there might still be regression coming, but it is interesting that the best BABIPs come from guys that hit more grounders, avoid pop-ups, and have a little foot speed. That all describes the new Torii Hunter, even at 39 years old. Of course, as the power wanes further, and the speed, there's risk that the batting average becomes truly empty. For now, plan for 15 home runs, five stolen bases, a good batting average, and all the runs and RBI his health will allow him, and you're being a reasonable person. (
The Quick Opinion:
When a player changes his approach on purpose, it's even more tempting to believe anomalous numbers. But caution is better: bet on .280+ with good runs and RBI because of the Tigers offense around him, realize that the days of 25+ home runs are gone and that Hunter probably won't steal many bags, and you've got your eyes wide open.
Hunter is supposed to fall apart at some point, right? The 39-year-old can no longer put up double digit steals, but for the last three seasons he has flirted with a .300 average and 15 home runs. These numbers are decent in today's suppressed run scoring environment. Some players who put up similar numbers to Hunter in 2014: Nick Markakis, Jay Bruce, Melky Cabrera, Kole Calhoun, and Matt Holliday. While players should expect to play less and less as they age, Hunter has played in 140 games in each of the last three seasons. One possible issue for Hunter comes from a trend at the plate. Comparing 2012 to 2014, his walk rate is down (7% to 4%), his strikeout rate is down (23% to 15%) and his batting average on balls in play is down (.389 to .311). He being less patient (50% swing rate up to 53% Swing%) and is making less solid contact (16% home run per fly ball rate down to 12% HR/FB). For normal 5x5 leagues, the numbers seem to offset, but in OBP leagues his OBP has dropped from .365 to .319. The key with Hunter is to avoid undervaluing him, especially since he moved to the Twins. He is playable in all leagues, but just isn't sexy. Value him as a late-round value deep in your outfield, see where he is going in mock drafts/rankings, and then pick him up at a discounted price. (Jeff Zimmerman)
The Quick Opinion:
Torii Hunter's production could fall off at any point, but it hasn't. Value him correctly and look to pick him up at a discount.
Torii Hunter has twice as many i's in his first name as he does years left in the majors. This is a clumsy way of saying that he's retired and you don't want to put him on your team. (David Temple)
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Updated: Sunday, March 26, 2017 3:36 AM ET
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