Mariners Haniger A Great Back Up To Entire Outfield
The Mariners knew they cashed in with Jean Segura at short, but it’s important that fans recognize what other talents are coming to Seattle. Aside from the LHP, Zac Curtis, the Mariners will also see a lot of Mitch Haniger in the outfield when any starter needs a rest.
At the moment, the most likely outfielders would be Seth Smith in right, Leonys Martin in Center in and Ben Gamel and Guillermo Heredia fighting for the starting job at left. But, waiting to swoop in a steal the spotlight from any of these men could be the Mariners newest acquisition, and current fourteenth ranked prospect, Mitch Haniger.
Haniger has undoubtedly been overlooked. He was part of the league’s first off-season blockbuster that sent Ketel Marte and Taijuan Walker to the Diamondbacks for the National League hits leader, Jean Segura.
Haniger has been impressive at every level of the game and now will have a chance to show the Mariners and the entire league how good he really is.
2013 was his breakout year. He pummeled the competition at the single-A and advanced-A levels. In total, he smashed thirty-six doubles, legged out five triples, crushed eleven home runs, drove in sixty-eight RBIs and even managed to draw fifty-seven walks in one hundred and twenty-nine games. That is the definition of productivity in every way.
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At that time, Haniger was on the Milwaukee Brewers but they didn’t think that he could be more than a one-year wonder. While he wasn’t as magnificent to start 2014, Haniger hit ten more home runs in double-A ball before being traded to the Diamondbacks mid-season.
The transition was swift, but he never got going the rest of that year, playing in only eight games with the D-Backs double-A affiliate.
Now that he was truly settled in, Haniger made sure to make the Brewers regret their actions. The outfielder was back to his old ways, racking up more home runs, doubles, and RBIs. He also was able to set a new personal best for stolen bases with twelve.
Haniger wasn’t done impressing, though. This past season was not only more of the same amazing Haniger the Diamondbacks were getting used to, he was an enhanced version of himself.
He set personal bests in home runs, nearly hitting double the amount of dingers he ever hit in one season. He also drove in a career-high ninety-four runs and hit the ball more than one out of every three at-bats, finishing the season with a batting average of .321.
His offensive firepower earned him a shot in the big leagues. In his first three games with the Diamondbacks alone, Haniger collected six hits including two doubles, a triple, and five RBIs.
He would end his brief thirty-four game stint with the D-Backs having cracked five home runs to go along with those double and triple stats. Unfortunately, his batting average was subpar at .229, but that can be attributed to big league jitters and facing big league talent for the first time.
Nevertheless, what he was able to do in the minors and even at the major league level should make the Mariners very happy to have him as part of their squad. GM Jerry Dipoto is excited. He told the press:
If Hangier’s stats at every level are any indication, he has the ability break through the high-ceiling and soar into the top ranks of all-time Mariners outfield greats. That is if he gets a true shot to prove his worth.