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Breakout Player Spotlight: Hunter Pence

Making his major league debut on April 28th, the Astros knew just what they had with outfielder Hunter Pence. They called him up at just the right time too. Chris Burke had been struggling both in the outfield and at the plate and since giving him the everyday job, Pence has ignited the teams offense and is leading the way in the outfield with Carlos Lee and Luke Scott right behind him. Pence is batting .348 with 4 HR, 15 RBI, and 2 SB, but is showing he has what it takes to become an All Star Outfielder. Only 24 years old, he has quickly become a fan favorite, and it is hard not to talk about his potential. "I'm afraid we're going to get in a frenzy here, and the expectations are going to be unattainable," Garner said following Pence's 4-for-4 night Wednesday. "The kid's playing good. Just let him play. We didn't pencil in a certain batting average, we didn't pencil in a certain [number of] home runs, we didn't do this or that." He's working hard and has proved he can handle playing everyday, batting .339 with 4 HR and 15 RBI in fifteen games this month. Many think he jump-started this team when he was called up, and the Astros are 11-6 since his major league debut. Playing in Minute Maid Park can only benefit his numbers, and with Carlos Lee and Luke Scott at his sides, he will ease into Astro-Mania and the big leagues.

2007 Projection: .303 AVG, 16 HR, 66 RBI.