Haniger Cuts Himself Some Extra Slack
7-year overnight successes, Dept.


First word out of Mariners camp is that Haniger and Servais are pals.  For uus older Denizens, this is eminently preferable to the Ken Phelps-Jay Buhner trade when Jim Lefebvre groused of the new arrival Buhner, "the only place he's not professional is in the batter's box."  Lefebvre had grown up in the palmy days of the 1960's NL West, where hitting 8 homers and batting .266 could get you the cleanup slot.  Frenchy didn't much cotton to Bone's 450-foot swings and misses.

Dutton, however, relays a rather different first impression from Servais:


Mitch Haniger,” Servais said. "Very professional approach. He knows what he’s doing. He has a plan every time he’s in the outfield, on the bases or in the batter’s box. It’s a very professional approach." ... Haniger, 26, retooled his swing two years ago and resurrected a stalled career. He spent much of last season at Triple-A Reno, where be batted .341 with 20 homers and 64 RBIs in 74 games, prior to a mid-August promotion to the Diamondbacks.

While Haniger showed only flashes of his potential in 34 big-league games, the Mariners, after acquiring him, made several subsequent deals that underscored their intention to clear a path for him as their everyday right fielder.

"He knows this is his time," Servais said. "He’s going to get an opportunity to play here. He's worked for it his whole life. We’re going to give it to him, and let him run.  He’s taken it very seriously, and I like what I see. He’s been very impressive."


The M's have Haniger slotted #6 behind Seager, with the first base platoon coming up behind him.  Of course, if Haniger goes 2-for-50 things can change.  But the Mariners are now watching for plate coverage, quality contact, which shouldn't pose too much of a problem for Haniger in early ST games.  Skip-O-Vision Translation:  Haniger is the right fielder until he proves he's not.

True, the only thing between Mitch Haniger and Casper Wells is a .200 batting line in 400 at-bats.  True too, the only thing between Haniger and a Jason Heyward type performance is the .254/.321/.448 forecast that Ron Shandler has for him (.254/.349/.427 for 3.4 WAR in 2013).

So, for all the M's talk about Winning Now, they have hauled in Jean Segura SS, Mitch Haniger RF, Drew Smyly 4SP, and Shae Simmons for Marte SS, Smith RF, Taijuan 4SP, Luiz Gohara and goodies.  I'll buy the lemynade.


If yer spreadsheet is boring you this afternoon, here's an SSI archive index for your perusal:

POTD Mitch Haniger, CF-OF  Like Buhner was, Haniger goes for max relaxation into the pitch release, and then explodes his energy to the hitting area.  He claims his .700 SLG turnaround last season came from letting the ball travel deeper.  Moe Dawg sees it as a light variation on Bat571's Marcell Ozuna deal.  Taro and G also like his chances.

More on RF Defense   Moe Dawg targets a 100+ OPS with plus right field defense.  With Smyly, Miranda, and Paxton, they're gonna need it.   Don't fergit that last season, the M's were running out Boomstick (-15 runs), Seth Smith (-13 runs) and Franklin Gutierrez (-9 runs per UZR).

SABRMatt's Best Bet   Partly based on the fact that Haniger hits the ball hard and pulls it in the air.

Hope springs eternal,

Dr D



Taro's picture

Step closer to the plate. If Haniger made this adjustment I'd project him as a MOTO hitter.

Still like him as is. Easiest bet ever to be a PLUS MLBer (abover-average). Don't be shocked if hes an impact player.

Steen's picture

Win stupid prizes! Or in this case, one slightly used "USS MARINER". (Note: with the legal limbo the  "Ducks" are in you can corner the tourist market this summer. Nothing says market disruption a floating cannon!


We'd all win.  Pretty certain the Mariners would be winning as well.  :)

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."

Since that was on the Napoli discussion we were having when the trade went down it was hard for me to find.

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. 

What if .275/.340/.490 is entirely under what he produces this year? 

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