Mitch Haniger
Mitch Haniger 3A8A0157 (Cropped).jpg
Haniger with the Seattle Mariners in 2018
Seattle Mariners – No. 17
Outfielder
Born: (1990-12-23) December 23, 1990 (age 31)
Mountain View, California
Bats: Right
Throws: Right
MLB debut
August 16, 2016, for the Arizona Diamondbacks
MLB statistics
(through August 8, 2022)
Batting average.263
Home runs105
Runs batted in297
Teams
Career highlights and awards

Mitchell Evan Haniger (born December 23, 1990) is an American professional baseball outfielder for the Seattle Mariners of Major League Baseball (MLB). He previously played for the Arizona Diamondbacks. A collegiate All-American in 2012, Haniger was originally signed by the Milwaukee Brewers after selection in the supplemental section of the first round of the 2012 MLB draft. He was traded to the Diamondbacks in 2014 while still a minor league prospect. He made his MLB debut with the Diamondbacks in 2016.

Amateur career

Haniger attended Archbishop Mitty High School in San Jose, California, part of the West Catholic Athletic League.[1] Haniger was a star two-sport athlete for Archbishop Mitty, batting in the .370s and showing near the top among prep home run hitters on the diamond and racking up 75 catches for 789 yards and 5 touchdowns as a wide receiver on the school's football team.[1]

Haniger was recruited as an athlete by California Polytechnic State University (Cal Poly San Luis Obispo), Cal State Fullerton, University of California, Berkeley, the University of Oregon, UC Santa Barbara, and UC Davis, all of whom wanted Haniger to play on their college baseball team.[2] The New York Mets selected Haniger in the 31st round of the 2009 Major League Baseball (MLB) Draft, but he did not sign with the team, choosing instead to enroll at Cal Poly, to play for the Cal Poly Mustangs.[3]

While at Cal Poly, Haniger played right field as a freshman and sophomore, and center field as a junior.[4] Haniger was named the 2010 Big West Conference Freshman of the Year following his debut season with the Mustangs,[5] a year in which he batted an impressive .325.[6]

Following his freshman season at Cal Poly, Haniger spent the summer of 2010 playing wood bat baseball as part of the Corvallis Knights of the West Coast League, hitting .299 over 134 at bats with the team, racking up 11 stolen bases in 38 games played.[5] Haniger was named a member of the first-team All-WCL Team and was rated as the WCL's No. 5 pro prospect by Baseball America following the 2010 summer schedule.[5]

His sophomore season proved less successful at the plate than his freshman year, but Haniger nevertheless managed to bat .275.[6] He once again spent the summer playing wood bat collegiate ball, this time in the colors of the Green Bay Bullfrogs of the Northwoods League.[7] His summer work paid dividends, paving the way for an offensive explosion in 2012, during which spent much of the year heading the Big West Conference in the power categories of home runs, runs batted in, and slugging percentage.[6] Haniger finished the season with a .346 batting average, with league-leading totals of 13 home runs and 64 RBI.[7] Haniger won the league's highest plaudit, being named the 2012 Big West Conference Player of the Year[8] and gained national recognition as an All-American.

Professional career

Milwaukee Brewers

The Milwaukee Brewers selected Haniger as a supplemental draft pick at the end of the first round of the 2012 MLB draft — the 38th overall selection.[3][9] The pick with which Haniger was selected was awarded to the Brewers as partial compensation for the loss of slugger Prince Fielder to the Detroit Tigers in the 2011-12 offseason.[7]

Haniger's signing bonus with the Brewers was $1.2 million — less than the $1.359 million bonus for his draft slot recommended by the MLB.[10] After signing with the Brewers, Haniger was dispatched to the team's affiliate in Appleton, Wisconsin, where he appeared in 14 games for the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers of the Class A Midwest League.[11]

In 2013, Haniger began the season with Wisconsin, before being promoted to the Brevard County Manatees of the Class A-Advanced Florida State League. Combined, Haniger had a .264 batting average, a .348 on-base percentage, 11 home runs, and 68 runs batted in.[12] After the 2013 season, the Brewers assigned Haniger to play for the Surprise Saguaros of the Arizona Fall League.[11][13] He was named co-player of the week, along with Kris Bryant, in the first week of the fall league season.[14]

The Brewers invited Haniger to spring training in 2014.[12] Failing to make the cut for the team's 25 man roster, Haniger was assigned to the Huntsville Stars of the Class AA Southern League to begin the season.[15]

Arizona Diamondbacks

Haniger with the Arizona Diamondbacks
Haniger with the Arizona Diamondbacks

On July 31, 2014, the Brewers traded Haniger and Anthony Banda to the Arizona Diamondbacks for Gerardo Parra.[16] The Diamondbacks assigned him to the Mobile BayBears of the Southern League.[17] Haniger began the 2015 season with Mobile. Though he batted .281 for Mobile, the Diamondbacks demoted Haniger to the Visalia Rawhide of the Class A-Advanced California League in June so that he could play more frequently.[18][19] He spent the 2015 season retooling his batting stance and swing to focus on generating more power.[20]

Haniger began the 2016 season with Mobile, and was promoted to the Reno Aces of the Class AAA Pacific Coast League during the season.[21] The Diamondbacks called up Haniger to the major leagues on August 16, 2016.[22] Haniger played his first major league game against the New York Mets on August 16, becoming the first Diamondbacks player to have a triple as his first major league hit.[5] Haniger also set a record as the first player in Diamondbacks history to tally three RBIs in his inaugural game.[5]

Seattle Mariners

On November 23, 2016, the Diamondbacks traded Haniger, Jean Segura, and Zac Curtis to the Seattle Mariners for Taijuan Walker and Ketel Marte.[23]

2017

Rated the fifth-best prospect in the Mariners' farm system by Baseball America heading into the 2017 season,[24] Haniger began the year as the Mariners' Opening Day right fielder, batting second.[25] On July 29, 2017, Haniger was hit in the face by a 95 mph fastball from Mets' starting pitcher Jacob DeGrom.[26] On August 19, 2017, Haniger hit his first career grand slam off Rays' pitcher Jake Odorizzi at Tropicana Field in his return from the 10-day disabled list. Haniger finished 2017, his rookie season, batting .282/.352/.491 with 16 home runs and 47 RBI in 96 games.[27]

2018

Coming off a productive, yet injury-shortened, rookie campaign, Haniger picked up right where he left off, batting .309 with 10 home runs and 27 RBI in the first month of the 2018 season. After finishing the first half of the season hitting .272/.358/.488 with 18 home runs and 67 RBI, Haniger was named to the 2018 MLB All-Star Game in Washington, D.C., his first ever All-Star Game selection. [28]

Haniger's breakout season ended with a .285/.366/.493 slash line with 26 home runs and 93 RBI in 157 games, finishing 11th in AL MVP voting. He posted a bWAR of 6.1, which ranked 9th best among American League position players. He reached base at a high frequency, ranking 11th in on-base percentage and tied for 13th in walks in the American League. In addition, he displayed excellent defense in the outfield, tied for most outfield assists in all of baseball and tied for 10th in the AL with 5 defensive runs saved.

2019

Following the departure of his star teammates such as Robinson Cano, Nelson Cruz, James Paxton and Edwin Diaz over the offseason, Haniger found himself as the new leader of the rebuilding Mariners team. [29] After a relatively slow start in which he hit .220/.314/.463 with 15 homers and 32 RBI in 63 games, Haniger was placed on the injured list with a ruptured testicle after fouling off a fastball directly in his groin area on June 6, 2019 and missed the remainder of the season.[30]

2020

Haniger sat out the 2020 season due to numerous surgeries between the offseason and during the pandemic-shortened season.

2021

Haniger returned to baseball in 2021 and had a career year, setting career highs with 39 home runs, 100 runs batted in, and 110 runs scored.

International career

On October 29, 2018, Haniger was named to the MLB All-Stars team at the 2018 MLB Japan All-Star Series.[31]

Personal life

Haniger married his high school sweetheart,[32] Amanda Gimenez, in 2016. Their first child, a daughter, was born in December 2020.[33]

References

  1. ^ a b Mitch Stephens, "Top 100: Haniger is a Prophet with Power," Max Preps, www.maxpreps.com/ May 28, 2009.
  2. ^ "Cal Poly's Mitch Haniger is armed and dangerous: Known for his powerful throwing arm, Haniger is now lethal with the bat". The Tribune. SanLuisObispo.com. May 10, 2012. Archived from the original on June 24, 2015. Retrieved September 16, 2014.
  3. ^ a b Scroggin, Joshua D. (June 4, 2012). "Cal Poly's Haniger taken by Milwaukee in the Major League Baseball draft | Cal Poly". The Tribune. SanLuisObispo.com. Archived from the original on February 1, 2014. Retrieved January 30, 2014.
  4. ^ Fitt, Aaron (May 9, 2012). "College: On Campus: Mitch Haniger Brings The Power For Cal Poly". BaseballAmerica.com. Retrieved January 30, 2014.
  5. ^ a b c d e "Former Knights Outfielder Mitch Haniger Hits Way to Big Leagues," corvallisknights.com, Aug. 17, 2016.
  6. ^ a b c Conor Mulvaney, "Haniger Leads Cal Poly Baseball," Mustang News, www.mustangnews.net, May 9, 2012.
  7. ^ a b c Tom Haudricourt, "Brewers Go for Power in Draft: Milwaukee Takes Hitters Coulter, Roache, Haniger," Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, June 4, 2012.
  8. ^ "Cal Poly's Mitch Haniger named Big West Player of the Year". Ksby.com. May 29, 2012. Archived from the original on February 1, 2014. Retrieved January 30, 2014.
  9. ^ McKenzie, Melissa; Haugh, Robert (July 2012). "Sports Briefs". The Santa Clara Weekly. Retrieved January 30, 2014.
  10. ^ Ronit Shah, "Milwaukee Brewers Sign Mitch Haniger," MLB Daily Dish [SB Nation], June 12, 2012.
  11. ^ a b "Bernie Pleskoff: Brewers prospect Mitch Haniger on fast track in Arizona Fall League | brewers.com: News". Mlb.mlb.com. Retrieved January 30, 2014.
  12. ^ a b "Prospects Mitch Haniger and David Goforth head Brewers' list of seven NRIs | MLB.com: News". Mlb.mlb.com. January 22, 2014. Retrieved January 30, 2014.
  13. ^ "Mitch Haniger's slam lifts Surprise to Opening Day victory | brewers.com: News". Mlb.mlb.com. October 8, 2013. Retrieved January 30, 2014.
  14. ^ "Brewers prospect Mitch Haniger named Arizona Fall League Co-Player of Week | brewers.com: News". Mlb.mlb.com. October 15, 2013. Retrieved January 30, 2014.
  15. ^ Mark McCarter, "Mitch Haniger's Springtime Taste of Major Leagues Helps Fuel Desire to Progress,", The Birmingham News, May 10, 2014.
  16. ^ "Arizona Diamondbacks trade Gerardo Parra to Milwaukee Brewers for prospects Mitch Haniger and Anthony Banda". Arizona Sports. July 31, 2014. Retrieved September 15, 2014.
  17. ^ Piecoro, Nick (August 22, 2014). "Mitch Haniger debuts for Arizona Diamondbacks farm club". azcentral. Retrieved September 15, 2014.
  18. ^ "Arizona Diamondbacks prospecs Mitch Haniger belts two homers, plates four for Visalia Rawhide - MiLB.com News - The Official Site of Minor League Baseball". MiLB.com. Retrieved October 5, 2015.
  19. ^ "Diamondbacks shake up Rawhide roster". Visalia Times-Delta and Tulare Advance-Register. June 27, 2015. Retrieved October 5, 2015.
  20. ^ "Mitch Haniger continues to impress the Mariners with his power and preparation". The Seattle Times. February 28, 2017. Retrieved March 13, 2017.
  21. ^ "Haniger gives Aces some pop".
  22. ^ Clefo, "Mitch Haniger called up, Socrates Brito sent down," AZ Snake Pit [SB Nation], www.azsnakepit.com, Aug. 16, 2016.
  23. ^ Perry, Dayn (November 23, 2016). "Mariners, D-Backs swap Taijuan Walker, Segura as part of 5-player trade: Arizona gets help in the rotation while Seattle lands an impact infielder". CBS Sports. Retrieved November 24, 2016.
  24. ^ Glaser, Kyle (November 30, 2016). "2017 Seattle Mariners Top 10 Prospects". Baseball America. Retrieved December 1, 2016.
  25. ^ Perry, Dayn (March 31, 2017). "Mariners finalize their projected opening day 25-man roster". Seattle Times. Retrieved April 5, 2017.
  26. ^ Divish, Ryan (July 29, 2017). "Mariners outfielder Mitch Haniger exits Saturday's game after being hit in the face by a pitch (video)". Seattle Times. Retrieved July 30, 2017.
  27. ^ "Mitch Haniger Stats Baseball-Reference.com". Baseball-Reference.com. Retrieved December 12, 2017.
  28. ^ Cotterill, TJ (July 16, 2018). "Breaking down the four Mariners headed for the MLB All-Star Game". The News Tribune.
  29. ^ Byrne, Connor (March 28, 2019). "Offseason In Review: Seattle Mariners". MLB Trade Rumors.
  30. ^ Divish, Ryan (June 7, 2019). "Mariners outfielder Mitch Haniger placed on the 10-day injured list with ruptured testicle and more injury updates". Seattle Times.
  31. ^ "2018日米野球 MLBオールスターチーム コーチ・出場予定選手発表". 野球日本代表 侍ジャパン オフィシャルサイト (in Japanese). October 29, 2018. Retrieved December 5, 2018.
  32. ^ "The rise of Mitch Haniger". Mustang News. May 8, 2017. Retrieved April 21, 2018.
  33. ^ "Seattle Mariners outfielder Mitch Haniger and his wife had a really great week". December 6, 2020.