meetch
Photo: MLB

#17

RF/CF

Mitch Haniger

Mitchell Evan Haniger

Height: 6'2"    Weight: 210

Bats/Throws: Right / Right

Born: 12/23/1990 in Mountain View, California

College: Cal Poly SLO

Nickname: "Meetch"

Family: Wife Amanda

Acquired: In trade from the Arizona Diamondbacks, with Jean Segura and Zac Curtis, for Taijuan Walker and Ketel Marte (11/23/2016)

MLB Debut: 08/16/2016

Free Agent after: 2022 season

Twitter handle: @M_Hanny17

Welcome back. The Mariners have been without Mitch Hangier for a year and a half thanks to some truly unpleasant injuries, all of which he is now fully recovered from. The long layoff was naturally frustrating for the former first-round draft selection (2012), but he willed himself through it. “You’ve got to just take it slow and focus on what you can control,” he said. “I had to surrender to: ‘I don’t know how long this is gonna take, but I know when I get back, I’m going to be 100% better than before.’” We're all hoping, of course, for at least a return to the form of 2017-18 that made Mitch an All-Star, but he was slumping in 2019 before getting hurt and there's no way to know if that half-season was a sign of things to come or not. We'll find out soon enough, though, with Mitch suiting up every day in right field. He's had himself a fine spring training and manager Scott Servais has called him Seattle's best player.

Haniger may find himself in the lineup as the leadoff man more often than not this season; the M's don't really have a prototypical one-hole hitter, so Mitch's on-base skill might make him the club's best fit in the role. He's done it before; for a stretch of 2018 he was exceptionally productive batting first, posting a line of .330/.388/.580 in 45 games batting leadoff.

TH, 3/17/21