Mustangs in the Pros: Haniger Continues Late-Season Hot Streak at Plate

Mustangs in the Pros: Haniger Continues Late-Season Hot Streak at Plate


UPDATED: Sept. 21, 2017

SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. — Former Cal Poly outfielder Mitch Haniger has continued his torrid hitting pace since returning from the disabled list August 19.

Hit in the face by a pitch July 29, resulting in his second stint on the disabled list this season, Haniger returned with a vengeance. He produced a pair of two-hit games and six RBI in his first five games back with the Mariners, including a grand slam at Tampa Bay on the day he was activated.

After an 0-for-15 slump over four games, Haniger lifted his average 42 points by going 26-for-55 (.473) in 12 games from August 30 through Sept. 13, including eight multiple-hit games, six doubles, one triple, four home runs and 11 RBI.

The surge includes a three-hit game against Baltimore on Aug. 30, a 4-for-5 performance against Oakland on Sept. 3 and three-hit games against the Los Angeles Angels on Sept. 9 and the Texas Rangers on Sept. 11. Haniger hit a home run in each of the four games.

The run improved his average 42 points to .281. Haniger has produced 14 home runs and 43 RBI in 86 games. His other stint on the disabled list was for a strained oblique in April and May.

Just six other former Mustangs were still playing professional baseball after Labor Day.

Relief pitcher Bud Norris of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim has a 2-5 record and 4.53 ERA, allowing just one run over eight appearances on the mound from Aigist 19 through Sept. 15 before giving up three earned runs against Cleveland on Sept. 19.

Norris has pitched in 58 games for the Angels this season, striking out 68 batters over 55 2/3 innings.

All other Mustangs in professional baseball completed their minor league seasons over the Labor Day weekend except for Casey Fien at Lehigh Valley, Zach Zehner at Trenton, Nick Torres at San Antonio, Joey Wagman at Stockton and Erich Uelmen at Eugene.

Fien, another reliever who has pitched in four games for the Philadelphia Phillies this season, was on the 60-day disabled list with a right rotator cuff strain and is now pitching for Lehigh Valley of the Triple-A International League. He did not pitch in any games during the International League playoffs, Lehigh Valley losing its semifinal-round series against Scranton-Wilkes Barre.

Zehner went 6-for-13 (.462) with a double in a four-game series against the Binghamton Rumble Ponies in the semifinals of the Eastern League playoffs. In the Eastern League finals against the Altoona Curve, Zehner went 0-for-12 as Altoona swept the five-game series.

Zehner hit .258 during the regular season at Trenton with 23 doubles, four triples and 11 home runs in 128 games, driving in 68 runs.

Torres went 1-for-12 in San Antonio's series against Midland in the Texas League semifinals. During the regular season he hit .277 in 119 games with 16 doubles, 11 home runs and 61 RBI.

Torres produced a 21-game hitting streak in June and July, going 29-for-80 (.363) with seven doubles, one home run and 13 RBI, and ended the season with an eight-game hitting streak.

Wagman pitched 1 1/3 scoreless innings, allowing two hits, in Stockton's series against the Modesto Nuts. Modesto swept the three-game California League semifinal-round series.

Uelmen tossed two scoreless frames in the Northwest League finals against Vancouver, striking out three. Eugene swept Hillsboro in the semifinals but lost to Vancouver in the finals in four games.

Former Mustangs in Triple-A are Jeff Johnson at Columbus, Fien at Lehigh Valley, right-hander Chase Johnson at Sacramento (on the disabled list most of the season following Tommy John surgery), infielder Mike Miller at Pawtucket and outfielder Logan Schafer at Norfolk.

Playing Double-A were Torres at San Antonio, right-hander Casey Bloomquist at Tennessee, Zehner at Trenton and infielder Mark Mathias at Akron. Mathias missed the final month, however, after undergoing labrum surgery on his shoulder in early August.

Former Cal Poly southpaw Matt Imhof was the subject of a feature story produced by Big West TV and aired recently on Fox Sports Prime Ticket. He also was the subject of a feature story in the Philadelphia Inquirer.

Follow all former Cal Poly baseball players in professional baseball by clicking the link at the top of the page.