Mitch Haniger was a favorite for MLB’s Rookie of the Year honors before the season even started. So far, he’s been hands down the best rookie so far in the majors. The Santa Clara, CA native went 3-4 with three runs, a double, and a walk earlier today in the Mariners 11-1 win over the A’s. It was his second three hit game of the season. Haniger has been on fire since opening day hitting safely in seventeen of the first twenty games. He also leads the MLB with the longest hitting streak this season hitting in thirteen straight games.
Haniger’s batting .321 for the season and is making very good contact so far. He does have the most strikeouts of the leading rookies this year but, his skills at hitting in the gaps along with his power is the reason the slugger has an OPS of 1.020 early on. He also broke up a combined no hitter against the Marlins back on April 18th getting a double off of Kyle Barraclough in the ninth inning. The following day, the rookie went 3 for 4 with 4 RBI’s, a double, and scored three times. He’s been quite the surprise so far this season after being traded by the Diamondbacks for Taijuan Walker at the end of last season in a five player deal.
Haniger has been a surprise this season. Last year in Arizona, he batted just .229 in 34 games. He did hit five home runs during that time showing some tremendous power that Seattle was obviously interested in. It may be too early in the season still to tell how Haniger will fare in the long run this season, but he’s been hot and showing no signs of slowing down soon. Not only is he on track of being the American League’s top Rookie, but he’ll also be playing in the all-star game. Maybe even participating in the home run derby.