Mitchell Evan Haniger
- Bats Right, Throws Right
- Height 6' 2", Weight 180 lb.
- School California State Polytechnic University, San Luis Obispo
- High School Archbishop Mitty High School
- Debut August 16, 2016
He hit .364 with a school-record 12 home runs as a high school senior (Mike Vail had gone to his high school). He was selected by the New York Mets in the 31st round of the 2009 amateur draft but opted for college instead. In limited action in 2010, he hit .353/.436/.515 to win Big West Conference Freshman of the Year. He faded to .275/.371/.466 as a starter his sophomore year. As a junior, he put on a fine show, at .346/.438/.626, leading the Big West in home runs (13), RBI (64), total bases (132) and slugging. Collegiate Baseball named him second-team All-American. He was then chosen by the Milwaukee Brewers in the supplemental first round of the 2012 draft with the 38th overall pick. He was the second highest pick in school history (John Orton had been picked 25th overall). The third Milwaukee pick of the year, he followed Victor Roache and Clint Coulter; like Coulter, his selection was compensation for the loss of Prince Fielder to free agency.
He soon signed for a $1.2 million bonus and made his pro debut with the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers on June 22nd. In 14 games, he hit .286/.379/.429 with 9 runs and 8 RBI. In 2013, he split his time between the Timber Rattlers and the Brevard County Manatees of the Florida State League; in 129 games, he hit .264/.348/.431 with 36 doubles, 5 triples and 11 homers. In 2014, he moved up to AA with the Huntsville Stars of the Southern League, where he hit .255 in 67 games. On July 31st, he was traded to the Arizona Diamondbacks with fellow prospect Anthony Banda in return for Gerardo Parra. However, he was hurt shortly after the trade and got to play only 8 games with the Mobile BayBears as a result, also making a rehabilitation stint with the AZL Diamondbacks. Overall, his batting line was .259/.324/.422 in 79 games.
In 2015, Mitch started the season with Mobile, then went back down to the Visalia Rawhide of the California League where he hit a solid .332 in 49 games to be promoted back to Mobile in mid-August. With Mobile, his average was .281 in 55 games, for an overall line of .310/.368/.515. The jury was still out on him as a prospect, since most of his damage had been done at a level lower than the one he should normally have been playing at, and he went back to Mobile to begin 2016. He hit .294 in 55 games to earn his first shot at AAA at the start of June. With the Reno Aces of the Pacific Coast League, his bat really came alive, as in 64 games, he batted .351 with 18 doubles and 19 homers, good for a .697 slugging percentage. That earned him his first shot at the major leagues.
On August 16, 2016, he was called up to the Show and in his debut against the New York Mets, he went 2 for 4 with a double and a triple, a run scored and 3 RBIs in a 7-5 loss. He played 34 games that year, hitting .229 with 5 homers and 17 RBIs. On November 23rd, he was traded to the Seattle Mariners alongside 2B Jean Segura and P Zac Curtis in return for P Taijuan Walker and SS Ketel Marte.
In his first season with Seattle in 2017, an injury limited him to 96 games, but he hit well when he played, with a .282 batting average, 16 homers and 47 RBIs. He then got off to a great start for the M's in 2018, hitting .309 in April and finishing May at .270, but with 11 homers and 41 RBIs in his first 55 games. On June 1st, he hit a dramatic walk-off homer to give Seattle a 4-3 win over the Tampa Bay Rays. It came in the 13th inning on a full count against Matt Andriese for Seattle's 11th win in its last 14 games. He ended the year at .285 in 157 games as the regular right fielder, and was named to the All-Star team for the first time. He hit 38 doubles and 26 homers, scored 90 runs and drove in 93, maintaining an OPS+ of 138. He finished 11th in the voting for the 2018 American League Most Valuable Player Award.
Things weren't so good in 2019 however. The team started great, winning 13 of its first 15 games, but then sank like a rock. After 63 games, he was hitting just .220 and leading the American League with 81 strikeouts when he suffered a gruesome injury on June 8th, fouling a pitch against Justin Verlander of the Houston Astros off his own groin and rupturing a testicle. He managed to stay in the game for another inning but had to leave and was placed on the injured list.
- AL All-Star (2018)
- 20-Home Run Seasons: 1 (2018)