Michael Saunders, Right Field, Toronto Blue Jays
Date of Birth: 11/19/1986
Birthplace: Victoria, British Columbia
Nickname: The Condor
Michael Saunders, right fielder for the Toronto Blue Jays, was drafted by the Seattle Mariners in 2004. He played in their minor league system from 2005 until 2009, when he was called up to the Mariners to play in 46 games with them.
In 2010, Saunders batted .211 in 100 games with the Mariners. He played 77 games in left field and 14 games in center field. Starting in 2011, Saunders was defensively primarily a center fielder, although he occasionally also played in left field and less frequently in right field.
Saunders had his best season in 2012 when he had career highs in hits (125), doubles (31), home runs (19), RBIs (57), stolen bases (21), and batting average (.247). In 2013, he batted .236 with 96 hits in 132 games. He finished the 2014 season with 63 hits and a .273 batting average in 78 games.
On December 3, 2014, Saunders was traded to the Toronto Blue Jays for J.A. Happ. He signed a one-year, $2,875,000 contract with the Blue Jays on January 16, 2015. He spent most of the 2015 season on the DL recovering from knee surgery.
Saunders batted .253 in 140 games in 2016. He finished the season with 124 hits and career hights in doubles (32), home runs (24), and RBIs (57). Defensively, as the Blue Jays' left fielder in 106 games, he made 153 putouts and 2 errors. In the postseason, he had 8 hits, including a home run, and 1 RBI in 21 at-bats in 8 games.
Saunders became a free agent on November 3, 2016. He signed a one-year, $9 million contract with the Philadelphia Phillies on January 19, 2017. He was released by the Phillies on June 23, 2017. He signed a minor league contract with the Blue Jays on June 28th.
Career batting statistics for Saunders through 2016 include:
- 702 games played
- 526 hits
- 114 doubles
- 242 RBIs
- 656 strikeouts to 240 walks
- .235 batting average
Career fielding statistics for Saunders as an outfielder through 2016 include:
- 284 games played in left field, 264 games played in center field, 135 games played in right field
- 1,322 putouts
- 12 errors