STEAMER thinks Sam Haggerty is back to being a Bench fill-in guy

Detroit Tigers v Seattle Mariners
Detroit Tigers v Seattle Mariners / Steph Chambers/GettyImages

I think most Mariners fans would agree that one of the most exciting things in 2022, other than Julio, would have to be Sam Haggerty. Dude was pure heart and hustle, and had a nice little season that he put together. Unfortunately for Hammy Swags, STEAMER thinks he is going to fall back to earth a bit.

Now, I can totally understand why. He's played 142 games, has just 353 PA, and is going to be 29. There isn't a lot there... but his 2022 sure was a lot of fun. He played solid defense, and was impactful in his limited at-bats. So impactful, actually, that he ended up with a 1.5 fWAR in just 201 PA.

Please don't sit there and think "Well, if he played a full season, that would be 4-5 WAR, which is All-Star production. START HIM!" as that isn't the right way to go about it. It shouldn't really need to be said but playing the full season for a BN/platoon guy usually sees a drop in efficiency. He did show useful speed on the bases and in the OF, and an increased eye at the plate. Check out last year vs the STEAMER projections.

2022 - 201 PA, .256/.335/.403, 5 HR, 13 SB, 9.0% BB, 26.4%K, .333 BABIP, 5.3 Off, 2.7 Def, 1.5 fWAR

STEAMER - 257 PA, .229/.303/.358, 5 HR, 11 SB, 8.5% BB, 25% K, .292 BABIP, -1.4 Off, -1.6 Def, 0.5 fWAR

I think we are going to see a big jump in SB from Swaggerty due to the combination of increased base sizes and a year under his belt at the MLB level. That, plus extra opportunities to pinch run and be given the green light. The drop in BABIP to league average is fair, especially for someone who hits softly. However, at 28.9 ft/sec, he's nearly 2 ft/sec above the league average and ranked T-58th in 2022.

I think the projections are pretty close for how often he's going to play. Spot starts, late-game fill-ins, and stretches while injuries happen. He showed a nice bit of pop with a .148 ISO last year, which leads to a higher impact at the plate. We aren't going to see anything crazy from Swags, but a slight positive at the plate and a decent defensive number should be the expectation. Somewhere right around 1.0 fWAR. Good enough for the BN, and exactly what you want. Again, that might jump with steals, but the point stands.

I like what STEAMER is thinking, but it seems like they are penalizing him a bit much, as you would expect for someone with a low sample size in playing time, and as a Mariners fan.