Seattle's Mitch Haniger: How to Hit for Power

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1. A hitter should enter the batter’s box looking for a pitch to hit. “In my first at bat it all depends on the situation. I can also be very patient. I like to be picky. I don’t want to swing at a pitcher’s pitch. I want to swing at my pitch. If that means don’t swinging until you have two strikes that is what it means. I have confidence in myself,” he said.

2. A good hitter should look for a pitch that he can hit hard. “As far as driving the ball and stuff like that I try to do damage,” Haniger said. “Try to hit the ball really hard. Don’t settle for singles. The harder you hit the ball the better your average. You don’t want to hit it straight in the ground. You don’t want to hit it up in the air. You want to hit it on a line.”

3. A young hitter shouldn’t worry about hitting homers at an early age. “You are going to develop your power when you are older,” he said. “If you hit homers that is awesome. But I would say don’t try to do it. Take your walks and don’t strike out. Worry about your whole game and don’t worry about homers.”

4. It takes a special hitter to hit a homer to the opposite field. But you should aim for the big part of the field. “The big power hitters hit it out to center if you are doing it right,” he said.

5. A young hitter needs to watch a pitcher and see how effective he is with off-speed pitches. “First of all, I don’t look for off-speed pitches to hit until they can consistently throw it for strikes,” Haniger said. “About 60 percent of the time he is not throwing strikes with it. I will go up there and see how he pitches in the first at bat and then go off that for the second and third at bat. Being able to drive the ball the other way and see the ball deep in the zone is important."

Fun Facts About MH

  • He was born in Mountain View, California on Dec.23, 1990.
  • He graduated from Archbishop Mitty High School in San Jose, Calif.
  • Haniger went to Cal Poly San Luis Obispo for college, and was a first round pick of the Milwaukee Brewers in 2012.
  • He was the Big West Freshman of the Year in 2010 and he hit .326 with seven homers.
  • Haniger made his MLB debut with Arizona on Aug. 16, 2016.
  • After the season he was traded with shortstop Jean Segura and pitcher Zac Curtis from Arizona to Seattle for shortstop Ketel Marte and pitcher Taijuan Walker.
  • His brother, Jason, was the Pirates 19th round pick in 2008 out of Georgia Tech.
  • Mitch has cousins who have played pro ball: Alex Balog has pitched in the Colorado farm system while another cousin, Nik Balog, has been an infielder in independent leagues.

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