Today we have entered the top three of the Top 10 Mariners players right now, and this player coming in at third overall in my rankings is one of the longest tenured Mariners on the current roster: Mitchell Evan Haniger.
Top 10 Mariners Players Right Now: #3 Mitch Haniger
Mitch Haniger played his first full season since 2018 last year, and he broke out once again. Haniger turned into more of a power hitter last year, hitting a career high 39 home runs and driving in a career high 100 runs. He started to focus on barreling the ball up to pull it and drive it over the fence. He also demonstrated consistency, putting up similar numbers in both the first half and second half of the season.
It seemed that Haniger would hit his home runs at the best times, and one of the most electric games last season came when he hit a go-ahead grand slam in the 8th inning of a game against the Angels. I was at that game, and it was the most excited I had seen the ballpark in years. That moment, I thought, would be a high point, but as we saw in the final home stand, the crowds were even more electric for the final series of the season.
The reason that Mitch Haniger is the third best player right now is because he has a proven track record, when healthy, of being a near All-Star level player. He is by far the best power hitter remaining on the M’s roster, which is certainly something that is in his favor. On the negative side, he is now declining defensively, and is possibly a designated hitter for most of next season.
Overall, Mitch Haniger is truly a special player, but hopefully once this awful lockout ends, the Mariners are able to go and add some players who are even better than Haniger. If they can do this, then Seattle has a true chance of making the playoffs and breaking its infamous drought. Haniger also enters his final year of his contract, so it will be interesting to see if he is going to be in Seattle beyond the 2022 season.