Mariners Fantasy Baseball Rankings: Why Mitch Haniger could provide sneaky value

While there is plenty of worry about his health history, a healthy season from Mitch Haniger could make for a rewarding fantasy season from the Mariners OF
Division Series - Seattle Mariners v Houston Astros - Game Two
Division Series - Seattle Mariners v Houston Astros - Game Two / Bob Levey/GettyImages

While the last two seasons haven't been great for Haniger, it's important to remember that he does have a very respectable ceiling when it comes to his talent. His fantasy ranking fits the real world expectations as well, and it makes Haniger one of the higher-risk reward guys in fantasy baseball drafts this year.

The ceiling with Haniger is one of the better ones out there, which feels a bit wild and outlandish to say, but there is enough truth to it that it has to be thought about. If you are willing to take on the risk of Haniger, he could end up being a player that swings your team into contention.

Mitch Haniger is a very high risk/reward fantasy option for 2024

Let's think about it logically. The Mariners are going to need him to provide at-bats in 2024, so as long as he is healthy, he is going to be playing. That's the first, and obvious, hurdle that he has to overcome. Haniger has to stay healthy, or this is all moot. You can see that by his stats in the years that he wasn't healthy. Check out the comparisons between the healthy years and the unhealthy years, based on the averages for a season over that span. The Bad is 2019+2022+2023, while the good is 2017+2018+2021. I took out the 2020 season as well as his rookie season to get a more accurate representation.

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It's easy to see, when you present it this way, that a healthy Haniger is a dangerous Haniger. A .272/.344/.490 with nearly 30 2B and 30 HR, plus 80 RBI across ~85% of the team's games? Sign me up all day every day for those numbers.

The BB rate (8.69% to 8.56%) and the HR rate (4.54% to 4.22%) are very similar between his good and bad seasons, respectively. The K rate jumps a fair amount though, from 22.98% up to 27.80%.

If you want to take a flier on Haniger, I would suggest it. Right now, he is sitting around the 80th ranked OF it looks like. It is a close group though, as Haniger is 277th overall, while Varsho is the 49th ranked OF while being 203rd overall. I bring this up because most leagues see 3 OF per team, plus a UTIL spot. Add in that some of those OF can be played in your IF spots, and you are going to see 50-60 OF be taken in your draft when all is said and done, and that's probably at a minimum.

Take Haniger as your 4th OF, maybe as a UTIL, but definitely try and get him on your bench. If it works out, it's a massive value for your team if he stays healthy. If not, you can just dump him and pick up one of those random OF who ends up doing well that we see every year. It's high-risk in the sense that you don't know what you are going to get, but low-risk at the cost of a back of the draft pick to acquire him. Take the plunge, and grab Haniger late in your draft.