Either Hunter Pence's brother, Howie, is genuinely interested in improving Hunter's play, or he really needed a pingpong partner this offseason.

Whatever the case was, Howie convinced Hunter that the more pingpong Hunter has played in the offseason, the better his regular seasons have been. And Hunter, who looks up to Howie so much that he's called his older brother his "hero," took Howie's word for it.

And so during the offseason, Pence and his buddies turned into table tennis junkies.

"Sounds crazy, right?" Pence told Andrew Baggarly of CSN Bay Area. "It works your fast-twitch muscles. You react. I just got a bunch of different friends and we didn’t play games. It was just rallies, as hard and as long as we could."

Really, it was a win-win situation for Pence and his crew. If playing the game actually helps, Pence could be in for his third All-Star season this year. If not, it's an incredibly fun game and a relaxing way to spend the offseason.

"It might be a coincidence,” Pence said, "but it was worth a try."