Who Is New York Met Mark Canha?

Last Updated on January 8, 2022 by Lil Ginge

The New York Mets signed Mark Canha recently to a multi-year deal worth $26.5 million. The contract is for two years with a third-year option included. But who is Mark Canha and what will he bring to the Mets on and off the field? 

Mark Canha is a veteran first baseman and outfielder. He is currently 32 years old and will turn 33 this offseason in February. Before signing with the Mets, Canha spent his entire Major League career with the Oakland Athletics from the years 2015 – 2021. 

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: 32

Before The Majors

Canha went to Bellarmine College Preparatory school in San Jose before going on to attend Cal Berkeley. In his junior season of college baseball, he hit .319 with 10 homers and 69 RBIs in 54 games. And this was enough to launch his professional career.

Canha began that professional baseball career when he was drafted in the 7th round of the 2010 MLB draft by the Miami Marlins (then the Florida Marlins). He performed well in the Marlins minor league system, never putting 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 V draft of 2015, Canha was traded to Oakland.

Major League Baseball

Canha was immediately added to the Major League lineup in Oakland because the team sorely needed his bat after they 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 every season until 2021 when he signed in the offseason with the New York Mets. 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.

In Canha’s seven seasons of Major League Baseball, he has averaged .244/.344/.431 and compiled 89 home runs and 294 RBIs. This is good for a total wRC+ of 116 and 10.6 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 2021, Canha hit 115 wRC+, good for 2.6 total fWAR. And as a defender, Canha can play all three outfield positions as well as first base, though his ability to play them well is somewhat questionable. What Canha most brings to the table is his bat plus defensive flexibility more than skill.

As a player, Canha has similarities to Brandon Nimmo, especially when it comes to on-base percentage, a bit of power, and defensive flexibility in the outfield. However, there is another way that he is similar to Nimmo that is not as great: a proclivity for injuries. 

More About Mets Outfielder Mark Canha

Canha is an average-to-good player who will definitely bring some offensive value to the Mets. His solid on-base percentage and power numbers make him a good all-around hitter, and he had a career-high 12 walks as well in 2021, his final season with Oakland. In fact, his baserunning has noticeably improved over both of the last two seasons as well.

Another interesting note is that Canha led the league in hit-by-pitches in 2021 with 22, 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

Off the field, Canha is married to his wife Marci, an architect originally from San Jose, and 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. 

Final Thoughts on New York Met Mark Canha

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 that Eppler was a GM out in the NL West and watching Canha play for Oakland.

Combined with Eppler’s other offseason moves, including bringing infielder Eduardo Escobar into the fold, the Mets are poised for what could be a dramatic improvement in their play in 2022. While Canha won’t be the team’s star, he could definitely make a major contribution to a fun and winning season.

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