Mitch Haniger is awesome. We should all know this by now. I’m sure most of you do know his story of having a couple big breakout years in the minors and now in 2017 he put up an excellent 3 weeks of stats to start the year. Then he went down with an oblique injury which disappointed many of us Haniger fans out there. Soon enough we had quickly forgotten about how good he was playing. At the time he went down he was top 10 on the WAR leaderboard. He was leading the league in at bats and played every single Mariner’s game batting second. He was also right near the top of the leaderboards in runs and RBIs, with 4 hr and 2 stolen bases.
Why did we forget? Well quickly after Haniger went down Ryan Zimmerman started hitting dongs like it was his job, then Aaron Judge, then Yonder Alonso, and now Aaron Altherr. We forgot about the player that was looking like he was a star because there were other players looking like they were stars. No one can be blamed as this is the natural early season crazies. Well, today it was announced that Mitch Haniger took a few light swings and was pain free. This is joyous news. Scott Servais said the plan will be to ramp up his baseball activities over the week and get in a short rehab assignment over the weekend. The goal will for him to rejoin the team for the next road trip, which is next week Tuesday. So we have 1 week til he’s back. At that point people will be reminded how good he’s looked and if he starts off hot again he will go back to the list of untouchables.
Some quick highlights on Haniger to entice you. 35.0% Hard Hit rate. 38% Fly Ball percentage. Swinging strike % under 7.0. O-Swing of 19.9%. 31st best xwOBA according to Stacast at .385. And playing every day batting second in front of Cano, Cruz, and Seager. If those things don’t excite you then I’m not sure what will. I don’t mean to sound like he will be the next Mike Trout or anything but he definitely has the potential to be a top 20 OFer the rest of the way.
So I’d recommend you go put in a few offers for him where you can. If you are lucky enough to be in a league where he was dropped, go get him right now, you can thank me later. He’d make a great replacement for AJ Pollock if you own him. If you had him before and I’m just preaching to the choir, then well done. I’m going to be starting him immediately in my leagues assuming there is no hiccups in the recovery. So far so good.