Jean Segura rocks, and is the best player on the team right now. But Mitch Haniger is arguably the most exciting player on the roster…especially after the walk-off win against the Angels on Wednesday.
— Seattle Mariners (@Mariners) June 14, 2018
It was a quick at bat for Haniger as he only saw two pitches, with the second one being a splitter that didn’t split leaving it around belt high..
The Hanimal is currently hitting .270/.352/.524 with a rather high wRC+ of 140. His power is back after being absent for the majority of May and he’s absolutely been dominating pitchers throughout the first half of June — his wRC+ this month is at 151. There’s just not a lot anyone has been able to do to shut him down for more than a month so far this season…but how sustainable is this?
A large part of his success has come because there has been an increase in his walk rate from last season this year; despite the fact that Haniger is making less contact on pitches outside of the zone. And that’s worrying because Haniger has not decreased the number of pitches he’s swinging at outside of the strike zone. This indicates to me that we’ll see his walk rate decrease from 10.6% to around his career norm of 8.9%.
But the good news is, his walk rate appears to be the only stat primed for regression. Haniger is primed to continue his breakout season and his surprising pace.
After 284 plate appearances, Haniger has been worth two wins…he was worth 2.5 wins during an injury shortened 2017. If the 27-year old stays healthy during the rest of the season, I would fully expect him to be worth 5 or more wins at the end of the season; which is an All-Star level of performance. Adding Haniger was a master stroke by general manager Jerry Dipoto — especially since Segura also came over in the trade.