haggerty
Photo: MLB

#0

IF/OF

Sam Haggerty

Samuel Onofrio Haggerty

Height: 5'11"    Weight: 175

Bats/Throws: Switch / Right

Born: 05/26/1994 in Phoenix, Arizona

Offseason home: Denver, Colorado

College: University of New Mexico

Acquired: Claimed on waivers from the New York Mets (01/10/2020)

Salary: Not available

MLB Debut: 09/14/2009

Free Agent after: 2025 season

No one paid much attention to the line on the transactions page when this switch-hitting infielder was claimed off the waiver wire after the 2019 season, but you might want to sit up and take notice now. Haggerty started his pro career in Cleveland's organization, but despite exceptional on-base numbers and stellar baserunning, he didn't hit much so the Indians deemed him expendable and traded him to the Mets for next-to-nothing. The Mets didn't respect his abilities that much either, despite a nice performance at three of their minor-league levels that year, and put him on release waivers. Thankfully, Seattle GM Jerry Dipoto thought he was worth a look and snagged Haggerty for the Mariners.

With manager Scott Servais' penchant for overstuffing his bullpen, it took a while for Haggerty to get a shot to play, but the Mariners finally promoted him to the active roster last August and he immediately produced. It's a small sample size, even for 2020, but coupled with his minor-league history it suggests he can hack it in the big leagues if he gets enough time to prove it. His defensive versatility will help keep him around too—he can play six positions capably, with the most experience in the middle infield. The strongest part of his game might be baserunning; not only does he have exceptional footspeed, he also has one of the best slide techniques of anyone playing now. Check it out next time he steals a bag—it's short, quick, and gets him back to a standing position right away in case of errant throws. It's a small thing, but with so many players sloppily diving headlong from eight feet away and struggling to either stay on the base after they get there or keep from hurting themselves and getting spiked, it's refreshing to see someone slide with such fundamental elegance.

TH, 3/18/21