From the police blotter:
A Nevada man is accused of posing as a Major League Baseball player to steal a car.
Matthew T. Van Meter, 24, is charged in Utah state court with
felony counts of theft and forgery. Charging papers accuse Van Meter,
of Elko., Nev., of using the name and documents identifying him as
Chicago Cubs outfielder Tyler Colvin.
Van Meter, the charges say, on Tuesday signed documents with a Ken
Garff auto dealership in West Valley City to buy a 2010 Dodge pickup
worth $50,000. Van Meter promised to pay for the truck the next day and
drove away in it.
Theft is theft, so yeah, put the guy away. But ask yourself: would you even give the real Tyler Colvin a car with no money down? Guy played six games with an OPS+ of 12 last year. Sure, he hit .300 in AA, but it was on his second go-around.
Real prospects get credit. All others must show cash.
Hunter Pence was thought to be on his way to retirement after a lackluster 2018 season with the Giants. As he entered his mid-30’s, Pence spent a considerable amount of time on the injured list, playing in 389 out of 648 possible regular season games with the Giants from 2015-18.
Pence, however, kept his career going, inking a minor league deal with the Rangers in February. He performed very well in spring training, earning a spot on the Opening Day roster. Pence hasn’t stopped hitting.
Entering Monday night’s game against the Mariners, Pence was batting .299/.358/.619 with eight home runs and 28 RBI in 109 plate appearances, mostly as a DH. Statcast agrees that Pence has been mashing the ball. He has an average exit velocity of 93.3 MPH this season, which would obliterate his marks in each of the previous four seasons since Statcast became a thing. His career average exit velocity is 89.8 MPH. He has “barreled” the ball 10.4 percent of the time, well above his 6.2 percent average.
What Pence did to a baseball in the seventh inning of Monday’s game, then, shouldn’t come as a surprise.
That’s No. 9 on the year for Pence. Statcast measured it at 449 feet and 108.3 MPH off the bat. Not only is Pence not retired, he may be a lucrative trade chip for the Rangers leading up to the trade deadline at the end of July.