Batting fourth, RF Mitch Haniger
Do I think Mitch Haniger will be the Mariners cleanup hitter next season? No. But for this to be a perfect lineup Mitch will have to come back from his multiple injuries playing like his old self, which is a cleanup hitter.
I do think it is possible for Haniger to recover from the various surgeries that he had in 2019 and be his old 2018 self or at least close to it. In 2018 he had a batting line of .285/.366/.493 with a .859 OPS. He had a Baseball Savant page that would make you drool in 2018 as well, being around the 90th percentile among MLB hitters for xSLG, xBA, and xwOBA.
In 2019 Haniger’s average dipped to .220 but he still had a decent OPS of .778 due to his 15 home runs that he hit in just 63 games. Then he missed the rest of 2019 with what I think is the most painful sounding injury ever, a ruptured testicle, and had multiple offseason surgeries that kept him out of the 2020 season.
Mitch will be eased back into baseball and Manager Scott Servais said recently that he is looking great and will be ready for spring training. In a lineup with Lewis, Ozuna, and other good hitters Haniger wouldn’t be pressed into being the cleanup hitter but as I said earlier, for this lineup to be perfect Haniger will be hitting like a cleanup hitter.