Mark Canha

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Mark David Canha

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Biographical Information[edit]

Mark Canha has played five seasons with the Oakland Athletics. He broke out in 2019 with 26 home runs and a .517 slugging percentage in 126 games.

Canha hit .365 as a sophomore in high school, had a .609 OBP as a junior and hit .440 with 11 homers as a senior. His freshman year in college, he was a backup outfielder, hitting .270/.387/.302. He became a starter as a sophomore and did very well, producing at a .365/.450/.634 clip with 44 runs scored and 43 RBI in 53 games while starting at first base. He finished 5th in the Pac-10 in average, 6th in OBP, 8th in slugging, 6th in hits (75), tied for 6th in doubles (17), tied with Kole Calhoun for 7th in homers (12) and 6th in total bases (130), making the All-Conference infield alongside Dillon Baird, Cody Decker, Grant Green, Jeff Kobernus and Bryce Ortega. His junior year, he hit .319/.423/.520 with 69 RBI in 54 games. He and Ricky Oropesa were the All-Pac-10 first basemen. Canha tied for 5th in the conference with 10 homers and led in RBI, two ahead of Oropesa.

Mark was drafted by the Marlins in the 7th round of the 2010 amateur draft, one round after Rett Varner; the scout was John Hughes. Playing for the GCL Marlins (3 for 17, 2 walks) and Jamestown Jammers (.264/.339/.585 in 14 games) in 2010, Canha hit .243/.325/.486 with 4 home runs and 10 RBI in 20 games. He hit .276/.374/.529 with 25 home runs and 85 RBI in 107 games for the Greensboro Grasshoppers in 2011. He was second in the South Atlantic League in homers (7 behind Corey Dickerson), sixth in RBI, tied for fifth in sacrifice flies (7), second in slugging (100 points behind Dickerson) and 5th in OPS (between Andrew Clark and Brady Shoemaker). Among Marlins farmhands, he was 7th in runs scored (72, between Christian Yelich and Joe Thurston), second in homers (two behind Kyle Jensen), led in RBI (six over Ryan Fisher), tied Jake Smolinski for 4th in walks (59), 9th in total bases (204, between Kevin Mattison and Luke Montz), first in slugging (.005 over Jensen) and led in OPS (two points ahead of Jensen). He did not make the SAL All-Star team as Dan Black was picked at first base.

In 2012, he hit .293/.382/.411 with 6 home runs and 68 RBI in 114 games for the Jupiter Hammerheads. He was 8th in the Florida State League in average (between Alex Dickerson and Mikie Mahtook), tied Jon Talley for 8th in RBI (68) and was 4th in OBP (behind Mike O'Neill, Yelich and John Andreoli). With the Jacksonville Suns in 2013, Canha hit .273/.371/.449 with 13 home runs and 58 RBI in 128 games. He was on the Southern League leaderboard in doubles (32, 3rd behind Christian Villanueva and Arismendy Alcantara), hit-by-pitch (15, 2nd, 4 behind Riccio Torrez), OBP (6th, between Justin Greene and Kevin Kiermaier), slugging (9th, between Alcantara and Nick Evans) and OPS (5th, between Kyeong Kang and Jason Rogers). In the Marlins chain, he was second in doubles (only one behind Bryan Petersen) and led in times plunked (one ahead of Jensen and Fisher).

Canha was the second pick of the 2014 Rule V Draft, by the Colorado Rockies, then was immediately traded to Oakland. He made the team's Opening Day roster in 2015 and debuted on April 8th, when he went 3 for 5 with 4 RBI as the starting first baseman in a 10-0 thrashing of the Texas Rangers. Canha's first season was excellent for a Rule 5 pick, hitting .254/.315/.426 with 16 home runs and 70 RBI (tops among all AL rookies) while playing an even amount of first base and the outfield. He missed almost all of 2016 following hip surgery, then was on the shuttle between Triple A and Oakland in 2017. He was back to being a quasi-regular in 2018, playing 122 games and hitting .249 with 17 homers and 52 RBIs as the A's made it to the postseason. However, he made an out in his only at-bat in the Wild Card Game, which the A's lost to the New York Yankees. In 2019, he was a key bat in the Oakland lineup, batting .273/.396/.517, doubling his previous best walk total and slugging 26 home runs with 80 runs scored. His main position was centerfield, where he made 55 starts, but he also appeared often at first base, left and right field, and as the DH. This time, he was a starter in the Wild Card Game, but went 0 for 3 with a walk and a pair of strikeouts as the Athletics were defeated again, this time by the Tampa Bay Rays.

He continued to play regularly for the A's in 2020 and 2021. The first season, the one that was shortened by the COVID-19 pandemic, he appeared in 59 of the team's 60 games, hitting .246 with 5 homers and 33 RBIs, but an OPS+ of 124. He went 1 for 10 as the A's defeated the Chicago White Sox|White Sox in the Wild Card Series, and 3 for 15 with a homer in their loss to the Houston Astros in the Division Series. In 2021, he hit .231 in 141 games, but led the American League by being hit by pitch 27 times and his OBP was .358. He also hit 17 homers and finished with an OPS+ of 111 in spite of the low batting average.

He signed as free agent with the New York Mets before the 2022 season and was a major contributor to their 101-win campaign that year, batting .266 in 140 games, with 13 homers, 61 RBIs and an OPS+ of 122. This time, he led the National League in being hit by pitch, with 28. Defensively, he was the team's regular left fielder. The Mets' dream season ended in an early postseason exit, however, as they lost a tiebreaker with the Atlanta Braves to receive a bye into the Division Series, and then were upset by the San Diego Padres in the Wild Card Game; he went 0 for 10 with a pair of walks and a run scored in the three games. In 2023, he hit ,243 in 89 games for a Mets team that was a huge disappointment, and became available at the trading deadline. The Milwaukee Brewers acquired him in return for minor leaguer Justin Jarvis on July 31st. He hit .287 in 50 games for the Brewers, and in total finished the season at .262 with 11 homers and 62 RBIs in 139 games. In the postseason, the Brewers were eliminated in the Wild Card Series by the Arizona Diamondbacks as he went 3 for 8. On November 4th, he was the key piece in the first major league trade of the off-season, being sent to the Detroit Tigers in return for minor league pitcher Blake Holub.

Notable Achievements[edit]

  • 20-Home Run Seasons: 1 (2019)


Further Reading[edit]

  • Jason Beck: "Tigers acquire outfielder Canha in trade with Brewers",, November 5, 2023. [1]

Related Sites[edit]