To most people besides Seattle Mariner fans, Mitch Haniger is a name that prompts people to say, “who?” when talked about. Well, even as an under-the-radar player right now, you might want to start paying attention to him, especially in those deep fantasy leagues.
The 27-year old California native, is in his third big league season, and his first full season as a starter. Haniger made his first All-Star appearance this year going 0-2 with a strikeout in the 8-6 AL over NL win. The right fielder has shown some impressive numbers in his first three years despite his low playing time in his first two seasons.
Haniger is sporting a career slash line of .268/.350/.835 in about 230 games (Baseball-Reference.com). This year he has 18 home runs and 67 RBIs which helped him land a spot on the All-Star team. His stats are nearly identical to last years stats where he only played 96 games, although his BA was about 15 points higher.
He came into the pros with the Arizona Diamond Backs and had a nice start to his career going 2-4 with three RBIs in his first game against the Mets. Right now he is also sporting a career 6.6 WAR (3.5 for 2018) and ranks in several of the top defensive categories including outfield assists (1st with nine) and putouts (1st with 200).
Haniger almost reminds me of another guy who flew under the radar for a long time named Garret Anderson who retired in 2010 and is a member of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim Hall of Fame. Anderson, a 16-year Angel (spent his last season with the Dodgers), only made three All-Star appearances despite a career of .293/.324/.461. People really started to take notice of Anderson from 2001-2005 but even after that he still put up impressive numbers. I see a lot of Anderson in Haniger and I hope he can continue to do great things in his career.
Who is another player who flies under the radar? Let us know in the comments below!
Photo Credit: Christian Peterson
Photo Credit: Chris O’Meara
Photo Credit: The OCR
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