Mariners’ Mitch Haniger ranked 4th best RF by MLB Network — ahead of Bryce Harper
Mariners All-Star Mitch Haniger still kind of feels like a well-kept secret in the MLB. But maybe not for much longer.
In an MLB Network segment aired over the weekend, Haniger was ranked as the fourth-best right fielder in the game today. That put him in some pretty impressive company – the only players ranked above Haniger were Yankees slugger Aaron Judge (No. 1), and the reigning MVPs from both the American League and National League, Boston’s Mookie Betts (No. 2) and Milwaukee’s Christian Yelich (No. 3).
For those keeping score at home, that means Bryce Harper, the megastar who has a chance to net the biggest free agent contract in baseball history, is actually ranked a spot behind Haniger at No. 5. Not bad for somebody who played his first full Major League season in 2018, huh?
There aren't many right fielders in baseball better than @M_Hanny17.
— Seattle Mariners (@Mariners) January 20, 2019
For its rankings, the MLB Network used a metric it calls The Shredder, a player rating formula which “looks back at the last two seasons and weights them evenly to determine its rankings.” So that at least explains a little how Judge was able to edge out Betts and Yelich for the top spot. It also underlines how great Haniger has been since joining the Mariners for the 2017 season.
Haniger’s combined 9.1 WAR over the past two seasons ranked fourth among right fielders, a time in which he has also hit 42 home runs, driven in 140 runs, and posted a batting average of .284 and OPS of .853 over 253 games.