Saunders in 2012
|Seattle Mariners – No. 55|
November 19, 1986 |
Victoria, British Columbia
|Bats: Left||Throws: Right|
|July 25, 2009 for the Seattle Mariners|
(through 2013 season)
|Runs batted in||148|
Michael Ryan Saunders (born November 19, 1986) is a Canadian Major League Baseball center fielder for the Seattle Mariners. He is a left-handed hitting, right-handed throwing outfielder. He was nicknamed "The Condor" by Dave Sims who attributed the origin of it to Lee Tinsley.
Mike Saunders started his baseball playing Little League at Gordon Head Baseball Association. While attending Lambrick Park Secondary School in Victoria, British Columbia, Saunders played high school baseball for the Victoria Mariners of the B.C. Premier Baseball League. He was selected by the Mariners in the 11th round of the 2004 Major League Baseball Draft.
Before officially signing with the Mariners, Saunders spent the 2004 season playing for the Tallahassee Community College Eagles. He then spent the 2005 season with the Everett AquaSox of the Northwest League, hitting .270 with seven home runs and 39 RBIs. In 2006, he was promoted to the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers of the Midwest League, hitting .239 with four home runs and 39 RBIs. Despite struggling in 2006, for 2007 he was promoted to the high A High Desert Mavericks of the California League, where he excelled, hitting .299 with 14 home runs and 77 RBIs, before he was called up to the West Tennessee Diamond Jaxx of the AA Southern League, where he finished off the season hitting .288 with one home run and 7 RBIs in 15 games. Saunders started the 2008 season once again in West Tennessee, where he hit .290 with eight home runs and 30 RBIs in 67 games before being promoted to the AAA Tacoma Rainiers of the Pacific Coast League on June 17.
After beginning the 2009 season with the Triple-A Tacoma Rainiers where he hit .313 with 13 HRs and 32 RBIs in 243 at-bats, Saunders was promoted from Tacoma on July 25, 2009 when the Mariners designated Wladimir Balentien for assignment.12 He made his MLB debut that day in a game against the Cleveland Indians at Safeco Field, where he went hitless against Jeremy Sowers in the Mariners 10–3 loss. His first major league hit was a single off of Cliff Lee on July 26, 2009.
On May 6, 2010, Saunders was recalled from Triple-A Tacoma after the Mariners put Milton Bradley on the restricted list.3 Three days later, he hit his first Major League home run off Angels pitcher Ervin Santana.
Saunders also represented Canada at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, China.4 Serving as Canada's primary right-fielder, Saunders had 8 hits in 28 at-bats out of the third spot in the lineup. He scored five runs and had four RBIs in seven games, while his two home runs led Canada to a 6th place finish.
Saunders represented Canada at the 2013 World Baseball Classic and was named to the All-WBC Team for his good offensive performance.
- MLB.com: Mariners promote Saunders from Minors Retrieved on July 25, 2009
- Seattle Post-Intelligencer: Mariners recall Saunders; designate Balentien Retrieved on July 25, 2009
- Outfielder Michael Saunders recalled from Triple-A Tacoma
- WCTV.tv: Former Eagle Michael Saunders Knocking on Door of Big Leagues Retrieved on July 25, 2009
- Career statistics and player information from MLB, or ESPN, or Baseball-Reference, or Fangraphs, or The Baseball Cube, or Baseball-Reference (Minors)