Mitch Garver Will Stay Healthy and Make a Big Impact as a Full-Time DH in 2024

The Mariners are likely to move Mitch Garver away from catcher, which will allow his elite bat to be available for more games than ever before as a full-time DH
World Series - Texas Rangers v Arizona Diamondbacks - Game Five
World Series - Texas Rangers v Arizona Diamondbacks - Game Five / Christian Petersen/GettyImages

The Seattle Mariners signed former Silver Slugger Mitch Garver to a two-year, $24 million deal in December, the first multi-year contract that Jerry Dipoto has given to an offensive player. Garver has struggled to stay healthy, as the catcher has played in 100 games in just one season. However, Seattle appears to be moving him to full-time DH, which could decrease his likelihood of injury.

When healthy, Garver has been a great hitter, with a career wRC+ of 123, including two 130+ seasons in the last three years. Last year, he posted a 139 wRC+ for the Rangers, with a .870 OPS and 19 home runs in 87 games. He also had a career-high BB rate of 12.8 percent, placing him in the 90th percentile of MLB hitters.

Mitch Garver is a Great Hitter, and the Move to DH Will Keep Him Healthy

Further proving his elite plate discipline, Garver was in the 98th percentile in chase rate, as he went after only 17.4 percent of pitches outside the strike zone. Only swinging at good pitches helped him produce a barrel rate (12.6 percent) in the 83rd percentile, an xWOBA in the 89th percentile (30th in the MLB), and an xSLG in the 87th percentile.

Overall, Garver ranked in the 89th percentile in batting run value, showing his elite value at the dish. However, the question of his health remains. Is Garver worth $12 million per year if he only plays half of the games over the contract's two-year span? Furthermore, Garver will be 33 during this season. Will a player who struggled with injuries in his 20s suddenly be more durable heading into his mid-30s?

I believe Garver will be able to play more games than in the past, perhaps about 120 games per year. Unlike the previous seasons of his career, he won't be playing catcher for Seattle, greatly reducing the wear and tear on his body. Catcher is known to be one of the hardest positions on your body in the sport, and relieving Garver of that role will benefit him.

My season prediction for Mitch Garver is 120 games played, with a slash line around .240/.340/.460. He should also chip in between 20-25 home runs, but with the extra games played, 30 is not out of the question. Garver is a valuable addition to an offense that struggled to produce at times during 2023.