6. Mitch Haniger, RF
2017 projected stats: .251, 20 HR, 65 RBI
Here is where things get tricky. Haniger hit .229 with five homers in just 34 games in his first big league action last year. This spring has indicated that he has improved in almost every way.
However, let’s not crown him the next Jay Buhner quite yet. The kid is still just 26 without a single full season in the bigs.
A stat line such as the above would be a great start for Haniger. The Mariners have control of his services for the next few seasons and there is room to grow.
7. Danny Valencia,1B
2017 projected stats: .265, 13 HR, 53 RBI
Honestly, I did not see this coming. Presumed starter Dan Vogelbach has been sent down and Valencia is the Opening Day first baseman.
I see why, as Valencia is entering his eighth season in the league. He has the track record that Vogelbach does not.
I don’t expect Valencia to set the world on fire. His career averages are .271/11 HR/44 RBI. Something around there will greatly help the Mariners at first base, which seems to be some sort of black hole.