Michael Saunders, Right Field
Date of Birth: 11/19/1986
Birthplace: Victoria, British Columbia
Nickname: The Condor
Michael Saunders, right fielder, 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. He finished the 2017 season with 44 hits and a .202 batting average in 61 games with the Phillies and 12 games with the Blue Jays. Defensively, he played 4 games in left field and 54 games in right field.
Saunders elected free agency on November 2, 2017.
Career batting statistics for Saunders through 2017 include:
- 775 games played
- 570 hits
- 123 doubles
- 263 RBIs
- 711 strikeouts to 255 walks
- .232 batting average