Last Updated on December 24, 2022 by Lil Ginge
Mark Canha has quickly become one of my favorite New York Mets, both on and off the field. Not only did he play well for the Mets in 2022, getting on base at a .367 clip and putting up nearly 3 fWAR on the season, but he’s also a terrific ambassador to New York and seems like a genuinely great person.
The New York Mets signed Mark Canha to a multi-year deal worth $26.5 during the 2021 off-season. The contract was for two years with a third-year club option included. But who is Mark Canha and what does he bring to the Mets on and off the field?
In this article, we will take a look at Canha’s early baseball history, how he got to the majors, and what he’s like as a player. Plus, we’ll touch on a few off-the-field details as well.
Mark Canha by the Numbers
- Jersey Number: 19
- Bats: Right
- Throws: Right
- Height: 6’2”
- Weight: 209 lbs.
- Born: February 15, 1989, in San Jose, California
- Age: 33
Before The Majors
Mark Canha started his high school baseball career attending Bellarmine College Preparatory school in his native San Jose. And, ever the smarty pants, he soon wound up attending the elite university of Cal Berkeley. His junior season playing for the Cal Golden Bears was a massive success as he hit .319 with ten home runs and 69 RBIs in a mere 54 games.
That season with Cal was impressive enough to lead the Florida Marlins to draft him in the 7th round of the 2010 MLB draft. Canha was excellent in the Marlins system, as he never put up a wRC+ below 128 after his first six games in the minors.
Canha spent several years in the Marlins system. But after being claimed by the Colorado Rockies in the Rule 5 draft of 2015, the Rockies then traded Canha to Oakland.
Major League Baseball
Canha In Oakland
Craving more thump in their lineup, Oakland immediately added Canha to the Major League lineup. This was especially true as Oakland had recently traded away Josh Donaldson and Brandon Moss.
In his rookie season for the A’s, Canha hit .254/.315/.426 with 16 home runs and 33 walks. This came to a 105 wRC+ and 1.3 fWAR. Plus. he led all American League rookies in RBIs that season with 70 total.
Canha stayed with Oakland for the entirety of his MLB career until 2021, when he signed in the offseason with the New York Mets as a free agent. Jeff Passan of ESPN initially reported the Canha signing and Joel Sherman of The New York Post broke the news of the contract’s financials.
Canha Joins the Mets
In Canha’s eight seasons of Major League Baseball, including his 2022 year with the Mets, he has averaged .248/.349/.426 and compiled 102 home runs and 355 RBIs. This is good for a total wRC+ of 118 and 12.8 fWAR. His best season by far came in 2019 when in 497 plate appearances for Oakland, Canha hit .273/.396/.517 with 26 homers and 58 RBIs for a total of 4 fWAR.
Canha’s best attributes as a hitter are both his ability to get on base and to hit with some power. In his 2022 campaign with the Mets, Canha hit to a 128 wRC+, higher than his career average of 118, and, good for 2.8 total fWAR.
As a defender, Canha can play all three outfield positions as well as first base. But, with the Mets he is primarily a left fielder with the Mets. And his defensive abilities in general are pretty questionable. His strength is definitely his bat.
More About Mets Outfielder Mark Canha
Canha is a good player who definitely brings value with his bat to the Mets outfield. His solid on-base percentage and pop with the bat make him a good all-around hitter. His successful campaign with the Mets in 2022 definitely helped push them into the playoffs, though he was definitely a supporting role player and not a star. But he was never meant to be one of the main guys, not in a lineup with players like Francisco Lindor and Pete Alonso.
Another funny thing about Canha is that he is exceptionally good at getting hit by pitches, partially contributing to his solid on-base percentage. Canha led the league in hit-by-pitches in 2021 with 27, and again in 2022 with 28. Not the most painless way to get on base, but effective.
On that topic Canha has said:
Then just the way I load when I hit, sometimes I tend to dive in toward home plate, and that makes it difficult for me to get out of the way a lot of times and I think that it’s just the way that I hit. Sometimes I’m going in that direction. So when I see, it’s coming in tight, I tend to just brace and it’s become kind of habitual, so I’m not trying to get out of the way, and I think that’s a good skill if anything.Mark Canha
Personal Life and Marci Canha
Off the field, Canha is married to his wife Marci Canha, an architect originally from San Jose. The couple has a pair of kids. During the baseball season, the Canha family lives in San Francisco, but they spend the offseasons in Arizona.
Mark Canha is also a major foodie. Canha uses his Instagram page to show his love of food through pictures.
Mark Canha and the Mets in 2023
When he decided to bring Canha to the New York Mets, new Mets GM Mike Eppler was quite aware of Canha’s talent. Eppler was familiar with the outfielder’s play from back in the days when Eppler was a GM out in the NL West and watching Canha play for Oakland.
Combined with Eppler’s other offseason moves in 2021, including bringing infielder Eduardo Escobar into the fold, the Mets were poised for a dramatic improvement in their play in 2022. And they in fact delivered.
While Canha probably won’t ever be the team’s star, he definitely makes a major contribution to a fun and winning season. And I expect more good things from him this upcoming season for the Mets in 2023.
If you enjoyed this article, check out my piece on Eduardo Escobar here.