Mitch Haniger. I want him to stay healthy so badly. We all know that he is a special player when healthy. Many people have probably forgotten, but Mitch put up one of the best offensive seasons in Mariners history back in 2018 when he hit .285/.366/.493. He also hit 26 HR with a WAR of 6.5 while playing decent defense.
Unfortunately, Haniger just cannot stay healthy. He had another healthy season in 2021, playing 157 games with a 3.1 WAR, but that’s easily his second-best season. He managed just 57 games in 2022, playing well when he was on the field. Unfortunately, that’s just 35% of the season.
For 2022, Mitch Haniger gets a grade of D+
I love Mitch Haniger. I’ve enjoyed watching him during his career with the Mariners, and after he wrote the Players Tribune piece, I’ve been ready to run through a wall for the dude.
"We’re going to end this f*cking drought"
But… he needs to play. He’s had weird injuries and baseball injuries. But they just keep coming, and we haven’t been able to get enough out of him. In a year where the Mariners greatly needed an impact bat while struggling for offense, Mitch would’ve been the perfect answer for that.
Someone to drive in Julio and protect France. Be on base for all the solo home runs by Suarez and Big Dumper. Really lengthen out the lineup and make it tougher for pitchers to fight through the top 5/6 hitters.
He just wasn’t there though, and it’s reflective in the grade I gave him. If the Mariners were having one of their 76-win seasons without real hope, then who cares that he missed time? This year though, when they looked scary and even had the Astros worried, we needed Mitch all year and a healthy one at that.
That being said, I still hope they are able to bring him back as an OF/DH on an incentive-laden deal with playing time bonuses. He’s got the potential for .280 and 30 HR. He just needs to make it 150 games to do it.