Hundley confident about playing at AT&T

Catcher studied Giants while playing for NL West rivals

Hundley confident about playing at AT&T

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Nick Hundley's presence on the Giants' roster demonstrates the lure of their reputation.

Except for a half-season stint with Baltimore in 2014, Hundley has spent his entire career with two of the Giants' National League West rivals, San Diego (2008-14) and Colorado (2015-16). When he became a free agent this offseason, he didn't have to think too hard when the Giants offered him a contract.

Listing his reasons for signing with the Giants, Hundley cited their continuity on the field and in the front office, their long-running status as postseason contenders, their World Series success and the farm system's ability to develop useful players.

"How much time do you have?" Hundley said dryly.

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Thus, Hundley's outsider perspective on the Giants is also a well-informed one. Here's what he had to say about some relevant topics involving his experiences as a San Francisco opponent.

Hundley didn't play in Tim Lincecum's first no-hitter against the Padres on July 13, 2013, and he was playing for Baltimore when the Giants right-hander no-hit the Padres again on June 25, 2014. Hundley was on the bench at AT&T Park when Jonathan Sanchez flung his no-hitter on July 10, 2009, against San Diego.

"I stayed out after the game and watched them celebrate. It was an amazing accomplishment," Hundley said.

Showdown in 2010
The Padres entered a season-ending three-game series trailing the Giants by three games. They also owned a 10-5 record against San Francisco. San Diego won the first two games, defeating Matt Cain in Friday night's opener and besting Barry Zito on Saturday. Then Sanchez blanked the Padres for five innings, as well as tripling and scoring the game's first run on Sunday. San Francisco prevailed, 3-0, to claim the NL West Division title.

Hundley recalled the weekend's sights and sounds at AT&T Park.

"Friday night, the crowd was unbelievable," he said. "Saturday, the crowd was going nuts, but got a little more nervous. We played our best against the Giants that year. Sunday, it felt like everybody was waiting for something bad to happen.

"I'll definitely never forget that weekend."

No one like Nolan
With the Rockies, Hundley had the privilege of being a teammate of third baseman Nolan Arenado, whose 19 home runs and 61 RBIs against the Giants are his most against any club. Arenado also seems to make every possible defensive play against the Giants, no matter how difficult it might be.

"He's a generational player," Hundley said. "If he stays healthy and keeps doing what he's doing, he's a first-ballot Hall of Famer. He might be the best defensive player at any position in the league, and obviously his bat speaks for itself. He's somebody you really appreciate playing with."

From foe to friend
Hundley has thrived against the Giants. His 14 homers against them are the most he has hit off any club. That's complemented a .283/.345/.504 slash line.

"I appreciate the opportunity to play against a team like this," Hundley said. "You always know that they're going to give you their best shot, because that's just the way they expect their players to go about their business. And I enjoy that competition."

Unlike many players, Hundley also doesn't mind hitting at AT&T Park. He owns a .278 batting average with three home runs in 118 career plate appearances there.

"I was fortunate that I broke in with San Diego at Petco Park, before they moved the fences in four times. You had to hit it twice to get it out of there. We were playing 2-1 ballgames every day," Hundley said. "If you let that impact the way you're approaching the game or your mindset or your feelings, you're going to be out of the game pretty quick."

Chris Haft has covered the Giants since 2005, and for since 2007. Follow him on Twitter at @sfgiantsbeat and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.