Fantasy baseball is here. Well, as long as the owners and players can finally come to an agreement. It’s time to start prepping for fantasy season though, as there isn’t going to be much time for research in the period between a new CBA and your draft. It’s time to take a look at which Mariners are worth drafting, and where they slot into the fantasy baseball rankings. We start with Mariners outfielder Mitch Haniger.
In case you aren’t familiar with fantasy baseball, most leagues don’t have separate outfield positions, instead just designating them as OF. It simplifies things and makes it a lot more fun.
Where does Mitch Haniger rank when it comes to fantasy baseball?
You’re going to see a big difference if you look at where Mitch Haniger finished 2021, and where he ranks for 2022. Haniger actually finished 43rd overall (in yahoo rankings, which is what we will be using), and 12th amongst outfielders. That would put him as a 5th round pick. So you would think that he would be going somewhere in the 5th/6th round range, right?
Wrong. Oh, so wrong.
Haniger is currently sitting 92nd in the preseason rankings, and as the 33rd outfielder. That knocks him back to around the 9th or 10th round. If you’re playing in a 10/12 team league, that puts him on the border of even being drafted. I say that as a lot of people are gonna try to go with sleepers, single category guys, or gut feelings later on.
There are going to be a lot of guys like Haniger in the draft. He’s performed great in the past but has injury risk. Personally, I think that Haniger’s injuries are fluke/freak injuries. that shouldn’t be a worry when you are drafting him. If he had lingering shoulder or hammy issues, that would be one thing. His are one-offs, and it’s unlikely to happen again.
So, when should you take Haniger?
This sort of depends on what you think the Mariners are going to do once the new CBA is agreed upon. If they sign another hitter or two, someone like Bryant/Story/Suzuki, then the lineup is going to be a lot stronger, and there are going to be more opportunities for Haniger to both drive in runs and score more runs himself.
If not, they’ve still got a decent lineup with Toro having some time under his belt and the addition of Frazier. If you have an early 5th round pick, I think taking Haniger as your 1st or 2nd outfielder is a good call. That puts him in the same range as Cedric Mullins, Randy Arozarena, and Nick Castellanos.
Haniger is definitely able to put up an all-star worthy season and is one of the best current Mariners for a reason. Something along the lines of .270/.350/.500 with 30-35 2Bs and 30-35 HRs isn’t a crazy or unrealistic expectation. That would go along with 100+ R and 100+ RBI. He was pretty close to that last year, with the slash a little lower and 23 2Bs and 39 HRs.
Keep an eye on Haniger in the 5th round of a standard fantasy baseball draft. He has a great chance to be a top 10/15 OF this season, and one of the pillars of a successful fantasy baseball season.