Back in October, Seattle Mariners outfielder Mitch Haniger contributed a stirring piece in the “Players’ Tribune” to publicize his passion for bringing playoff baseball back to Seattle. As the newest veteran leader of the club following Kyle Seager’s retirement, Haniger’s words have Mariners nation buzzing for what’s to come in 2022.
Mitch Haniger is well-known among Mariners fans for returning from a devastating 2019 groin injury in amazing fashion, posting a .253/.318/.485 slash line with 39 home runs and 100 RBIs in his return to the field last season. With any injury-related rust officially wiped away and coming off of a season in which he was a finalist for the American League Comeback Player of the Year, just how good can we expect Haniger to be next season?
If Mitch Haniger can translate his late season success from last year to 2022, he will be a serious contender to make the A.L. All-Star team.
In September (plus three days in October) of 2021, Haniger posted a .883 OPS with 10 dingers and 27 RBIs during a Mariners postseason chance that lasted until the final day of the regular season. His OPS+ of 134 during that stretch was well above league average, and one can postulate that the timing was not coincidental; it appears Haniger was not only fully back to form by the end of the season, but also that he performs his best when Seattle is counting on him most.
Watch Mitch Haniger’s go-ahead single in the second-to-last game of the 2021 season in the video above, read his Players’ Tribune article from last fall, and check out his huge numbers from September and October of last season, then try to tell me Haniger isn’t about to have a monster season in Seattle.