Longtime MVP poster Wishhiker politely wonders about it:
I'm feeling good about joining that wagon before there was a band though. The earliest positive comment on Haniger I can find anywhere, after the deal, was when, 6 hours in to the 24th, I said; "Aaaannd .290/.370/.490 in 1866 MiL PA from a decently glovey CF (Very glovely corner)? .276/.349/.512 is where O'Neill sits at 1398 PA, 2 promotions behind. .293/.374/.508 this year for Tank if you prefer. Haniger has basically done that, with way less strikeouts (17% of PA), his entire MiL career including .321/.428/.670 in 312 AAA PA. Segura doesn't look like the only heavy lifter coming in on this deal. Dipoto brought in another Tank and this one seems closer to contributing."
The closest to complimenting him anyone had done to that point was say he's another tweener but better than Gamel. Another said that Segura was the only real piece incoming and DJ could have been traded for the others...I've been wrong many times myself, just explaining the reference I had other than stats when I raised my hand.
You gotta love the fact that Ev. Ry. Body. at SSI is high on Mitch Haniger. Don't think the enthusiasm was like this even for Smoak and Ackley. Probably there is not a single Denizen who would be surprised to see Haniger make a big run at Rookie of the Year.
Haniger's biggest fan is --- > Jerry Dipoto. If you missed it, JeDi has called Haniger "one of the premier defensive players in the majors," even in center, and stated flatly that in 2016 Haniger was "simply THE best offensive player in the minor leagues." That defense is probably the biggest temptation towards a true Best Bet status, because Fangraphs had Haniger for 0.6 WAR last season in 30-odd games, and that was at an 80 offensive level.
As well, you've got a mondo swing change that Haniger himself says has slowed the game way down for him. His out-of-zone swing percentage last year was a paltry 22%, compared to an ML average of 30%, while he continued to pull the trigger on pitches in the zone. He averaged what, 420 feet per homer. He's got the green light to run, so the roto dweebs are all over a 20/20 season with Gold Glove defense in right.
So the question is whether Matty is HIGHER on the kid than everybody else is. We'll let Matt argue that out for himself ... :- ) I'm not averse.
Why doesn't Dr. D go with a Best Bet? is 'cause he likes to cheat on Best Bets. He waits until the unwashed masses doubt somebody who truly can't miss, Kyle Seager or Michael Pineda or somebody like that ... Pineda would have been very effective WITHOUT a great slider. It's like stealing when you cherrypick them that way. For me, Tim Lincecum was 100% as good a bet to star in his rookie season as a major league pitcher who HAD starred the previous year. LOL.
(1) Haniger looks very dynamic, but I guess the thing is that I just haven't seen him play. Personally would want a feel for how good his emergency swing is on an off-field two strike hit, a feel for how well he anticipates pitch sequences, stuff like that. His plate coverage looks great on highlight films, but my thing would be more to watch twenty AB's in a row. For what that's worth.
(2) You've also got the fact that he was the best player in the minors last year, ya, but that was at age 25. If he's Jason Heyward in terms of giftedness, where has he been? And of course that's not to say age 26 is geriatric. It's a great breakout age, usually assuming that you've seen 1,000 at-bats in the majors.
(3) Supposing Mitch Haniger were everything the M's hoped, he's still got a league adjustment.
Now compare James Paxton, for example: I think he's got every blinkin' inch the chance to star in the American League that Corey Kluber or Jose Quintana do. Paxton, like they, could get hurt. Haniger's a different deal for me, but the M's are due to hit big on a lotto ticket.
My own bids on Haniger:
UP: Rookie of the Year type deal, 25%
MID: 100 OPS+, could easily be 3 WAR, 30%
LO: Setback year or role player who contributes, 45%
Which I would normally have thought was everything you wanted in a trade throwin. :- ) Highest bid range wins the adopt-a-player...