Does SABRMatt Get to Adopt Our RF?
's ok by us, but he'll have to bid for it


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...


Dr D




The only reason you didn't find an earlier comment from me, Wishhiker, was that I was out of town when the Mariners traded for Segura and didn't get to respond to the deal until many hours after it was made. :)

Doc's percentages are way off, BTW.  I'd go with 33% impact (RoY consideration), 50% mid-range starter with 3-WAR type value based on baserunning, defense, and decent-enough hitting, and 17% early struggles to adjust and eventually the light comes on later.


25% to 33%, heh

I do like your 17% chance of a disappointing season, though.  What are Cano's?   Rock on Matty...


you giving him better odds to flop than be average was what I was balking at. :)

For Cano, what would you call a disappointing season.  If we're measuring him on the same scale as Mitch, then it would probably be something like 85% stud, 10% fair, 5% disaster flop/age out...but I'm guessing that Cano will command a different interpretation for what the word disappointing means. :)


Didn't mean to lay claim.  I certainly haven't been the loudest.  I'd have to agree with you that Dipoto seems to speak higher than anyone.  I'm in agreement with Matt anyway.  The deeper I dig on Haniger the less I worry.

If that's the High-Mid-Low I feel like the low is also the low % chance. Is it wrong to say that with this cast around him I think his chances are improved?  The failures of prospect recent were often expected to succeed with the knowledge the team was screwed if they failed.  Not at all so now.  They didn't have the coaching equivalents since Piniella, Elia, etc even if at times the veteran leadership may have been close.  It's harder for me to say on the vets but I think this is among the strongest positive groups we've ever had.  I could be wrong about that.

I have had less company in my interest in Heredia since before he was acquired.  Now Servais is praising him in similar light.  What happens if he's jumped a plateau?  Tank has to pick up a 1b mitt?

And how come we can't have televised games in the spring of 2017?  This is killing me. 


You were probably as surprised as I that many were saying "Segura and don't bother looking at the rest", I had no idea until I looked at his numbers though. 


Note the tense "was" in there.

So I doff my hat to you if Heredia turns out to be better than I thought.  I wrote off his high BB/K in the minors as unsustainable in the bigs because of his lack of power (a la Jeremy Reed or Boog Powell) and assumed they would just knock the bat out of his hands up here and he'd be a dead man.  That could still happen, but I am willing to see it happen before assuming it at this point.  DiPoto and Servais know a great deal about spotting talent and they are sky high on him.


Would seem to be enough for him to keep going strong.  If that is what he's done then it's easier to see him breaking out.  But he's gotten on base everywhere he's been without much in the way of gappers.  I can only really claim to reading the right articles on him and liking the video I found while he was a free agent.   With the state of our outfield defense, that was my main focus.  I did like the swing though.  A solid glove for the outfield close to ML ready free agent was really the main attention grabber.   Nobody seemed too keen on his offense, but I thought he stayed back well in what I'd seen, explaining the always high OBP to a point.   The video Ben Badler posted is pretty indicative of what I was finding:


There are a good 4-5 outfielders who can take on any given Dallas Keuchel, and ... seems to me it can mean a lot if the mgr can give a kid a critical couple of days off to keep on the downlow.  You get a Wil Myers hype situation out there and it can be a lot tougher.



Her's how optimistic Matty is about Haniger:  A couple of threads back he opined a .275-.340-.490 line for Haniger.

In the long and not-so-storied history of the Seattle Mariners, only fifteen times have fulltime OF's (125 games in the OF--550 PA/162) had a line that was equal to or better than the Matty Line.  Well, actually my baseline search was  .270-.340-.475.  I made 20 HR's part of the search, as well.  But if you drop the homers to 18 and the OBP to .320, the results are the same.

Only 15 times:  8 of them were by a Kid named Griffey, three by Ibanez, two by Buhner, one by Bradley and one by Winn.  Oh, if I drop all the way down to 535 PA/162 I can add another, Leon Roberts in '78.

All but five of those season were in the HomerDome.

If Haniger hits Matty's mark, it will be one of the great seasons by a fulltime M's OF in the team's history.  Factor out Griffey and then you really see how rare it is.

11 the OBP, if only because rookies sometimes don't walk as much as they will in later campaigns.  I think he'll hit for decent power and he has shown above average contact ability and hard hit ball rates, not to mention pulling the ball in the air and hitting with good power even to the opposite field.  I don't see why he shouldn't hit .275 and slug at least .475 other than "that certain something that sometimes players lack in the head department"...and I doubt that is a problem for Mitch.


And has had specific trouble finding franchise OF's in it's history.  But I do understand the quality of those numbers.  Do keep in mind that Shin Soo Choo has had 4 seasons and Adam Jones 6 that are right about exactly that.  Not always in every category but they could have added to the total years in team history anyway.

I would not have guessed so few, not a chance. 

Taro's picture

Clearly a little too far from the plate and is reaching at outside pitches. And still managed to slug .670 in AAA.

With Edgar as coach just recently fixing the same flaw with Trumbo.. bet BIG on the upside.

I wouldn't worry too much about the age Doc. Donaldson was another player type who changed his swing mechanics late in his career. When guys change who they are, you re-assess. Although I get your point, easier to say with pitchers, more rare with hitters.


Of course, since he was copying off Josh Donaldson's swing notes, that makes sense.  But it's that profile of a guy who had talent he wasn't harnessing and moves very decisively toward harnessing it that appeals to me.  Raul Ibanez would be another guy who had to adjust, but he did his in the majors.  I don't know whether Haniger will hit the ground running, but if the Mariners intend to have a successful playoff-bound season it would certain help for him to strap on his Donaldson cleats and get busy producing immediately.

But a guy who can improve his own swing via video and trial should love getting to work with Edgar.  Nobody's going to be able to help him more.  Investing in Edgar Martinez, Swing Whisperer is gonna be crucial for getting the new kids like Haniger and soon O'Neill to harness what they can do, and mitigate what they're bad at.

Fingers crossed for a good, healthy season from at least one of those guys.


see how easy?

So I'll go with 122 runs scored, 123 RBI, and +18 runs in right field.  Who needs Trout, I say.

Seriously, it's pretty cool how nicely Donaldson fits onto this topic...


If he's 100+ OPS with great OF defense, I'll be pretty darn happy.

And we all should.  A quiz:  How many 2016 MLB OF'ers played in 100 games on the OF grass, hit 18 homers and .260-320-.475 (or better), with 450 PA's/162 games?

NINE!  In all of baseball.  NINE!

Trout, Betts, Blackmon, Bradley, Yellich, Braun, CarGo, Cespedes, and JD Martinez.   Lions and tigers and bears, oh my!  That's a modern Murderer's Row.

The closest guys (regardless of position) to those numbers were Justin Turner (27, .275-.339-.493), Neil Walker (23, .282-.347-.476), and Stephen Piscotty (22, .273-.343-.457).  They OPS'ed 124, 118 and 112.  

Piscotty, a guy I wanted us to trade for 3 years ago, seems a natural comparison.  Glovey, toolsy, has pop and is pretty dang good. If he is the upside.....that's a heck of an upside.

If we got Piscotty as a throw-in, Dipoto is the new Bilbo Baggins, a burglar of world-class abilities.

But if Haniger just hits 20+ taters and OPS's .760, then he's only a Hosmer.  And that's still a 100+OPS guy....with a terrific OF glove.  Give me that and I'll be perfectly happy.

Hey, I'm easy to please.


You searched for a certain type of player performing at a certain level, rather than just searching for players performing at a certain level.

Mariner outfielders who had an OPS of .815 or better in full-time play:

2015: Cruz (had the most time in RF of any Mariner and was more than half-time outfielder)
2009: Ichiro
2008: Ibanez
2007: Guillen (OK... it was .813)
2007: Ibanez
2007: Ichiro
2006: Ibanez
2004: Ibanez
2004: Ichiro
2002: Ichiro (.813)
2001: Cameron
2001: Ichiro
2000: Buhner
1999: Griffey
1998: Griffey
1997: Griffey
1997: Buhner
1996: Griffey
1996: Buhner
1995: Buhner
1994: Griffey
1994: Buhner
1993: Griffey
1993: Buhner
1992: Griffey
1991: Griffey
1991: Buhner
1990: Griffey
1987: Bradley
1986: Tartabull (how'd he miss your cut?? He's a really close comp to Mitch)
1986: Bradley
1985: Bradley
1981: Paciorek (shortened season so you missed it)
1978: Roberts
1977: Stanton

And, keep in mind, the Mariners have been more often a terrible franchise than a good one.

Or...I could just click over to fangraphs and count how many outfielders had an OPS > .815 in 2016

24 if you count Harper's .814 (close enough).

It's not THAT uncommon.


I wasn't referring to it as the "Matty Line" in any way other than to give it a name. I did so because the numbers came from one of your posts. No underlying intent existed.  I also tried to point out that at that line he was living in pretty rarified air. If you want to say that .750 is the Moe Line, I'm good with that.  I'm not betting on .750, or saying that's a more natural Over/Under figure,  just saying that even at that level he's still a really good OF'er.  I know you weren't betting on the higher figure, either. I'll be the first in line to give you a fist bump if he's in the .800 area code. 

There are a lot of Griffeys, Buhners and Ichiros on that first list.  14 times of the times M's OF's have sniffed at or beat .815 were done by Hall of Famers.  Haniger at .815 is a heck of a baseball player.  One of the best OF'ers in the game.

But if he wins a GG in RF and hits 22 HR's, everything else is gravy.

At .815 and 500 PA's and 100 OF games, I get the 9 guys I wrote of above and Springer, Saunders, Harper, Fowler, Marte, Tomas. That's by doing a team by team search on B-R.

Trumbo and Bautista missed the 100 game mark by just a bit.  Peterson, Pence, Bruce, Stanton and Reddick didn't get the AB's.

Haniger as any one of those guys makes me very happy.

No foul intended, Matt.




I get it if you want to project him to hit for a lower average (.230 or even lower if you are seriously in doubt about his contact chops or holes they might exploit) but the dude is ripped and enormously strong.  Any lack of homers before the second half of 2015 was just a lack of proper mechanics.  Problem solved.

So if you have him hitting .230, he'd better be slugging .430+ in your world, because otherwise, you just aren't making sense. :)



Moore:  2 innings, 1 hit, 2 K's, 0 runs. 

Get used to it!


(BTW:  Heredia is hitting like he has Dyson's LF in his sights)


Povse, Miranda, Moore, Heston, Whalen, Overton, and now De Jong...It doesn't seem like any of them fit into a AA Rotation anymore...


Mariners are playing the Replace Iwakuma Game for next season, and that's fine.  They'll have to replace Gallardo this season to because that guy looks like french toast.  Gotta have a lot of stop-gap arms if this season is playoffs or bust as it should be with the core sans Seager aging out. Gotta have enough material for a mid-season upgrade too, and the farm is trash especially once Moore and O'Neill get here.

Taking a draw at having another arm that can start lighting it up isn't a bad plan. De Jong is one of those accurate 4-pitch righties who just got people out last year. It's a good back-end draw at the deck and didn't cost us much (at least from my biased POV).

Anonymous's picture

De Jong is Da Man.

Gotta be. In 2015 he played in Rancho Cucamonga, CA, a town where I worked for a few years. :)

Honestly, I love how DiPoto is beefing up his inventory of starting pitchers. If enough of them progress, we might have some excess that would help us swing a key in-season (or even pre-season) trade.

"Now God took DiPoto outside and said,' Look up at the sky and count the stars-- if indeed you can count them.' Then He said to him, 'So shall your stock of starting pitchers be.' "

Add comment

Filtered HTML

  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Allowed HTML tags: <a> <em> <strong> <cite> <blockquote> <code> <ul> <ol> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd><p><br>
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.


  • Allowed HTML tags: <a> <em> <strong> <cite> <blockquote> <code> <ul> <ol> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd>
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.