Death from Above – Bird with a Gun – Condor Cannon

The Condor Report: July 16th–July 22nd

Card of the Week: 2011 Topps Factory Set Exclusive #/245

Michael “The Condor” Saunders stats for the week of July 16th through July 22nd:

AB: 23

Hits: 7

AVG: .304

Runs: 2

Doubles/Triples: 1/0

Home Runs: 1

RBI: 5

SB: 1

BB/K: 1/7

What Went Wrong? Saunders got a little “K” happy, striking out seven times in the week. He’s on pace for 134 punch outs and that will need to change in order for his average to climb above .250-.260.

What Went Right? The Condor had a productive week including this monster homer to dead-center in Kansas City and a two-run single against Tampa Bay that proved to be the difference in the Mariners 2-1 win. Notice anything about those two highlights? Saunders didn’t pull either of those pitches, and his ability to go to centerfield and the opposite way is a big reason for his breakout season.

The Condor Report: July 9th–July 15th

Card of the Week: 2009 Topps Update Black Parallel RC #/59

Michael “The Condor” Saunders stats for the week of July 9th through July 15th:

AB: 11

Hits: 3

AVG: .273

Runs: 0

Doubles/Triples: 1/0

Home Runs: 0

RBI: 3

SB: 0

BB/K: 0/0

What Went Wrong? Nothing to see here, move along…

What Went Right? The Condor picked up right where he left in the second half, collecting three RBI in a three-game set against Texas, including a run scoring double off the Mariners favorite punching bag Yu Darvish. Cacaw!

The Condor Report: June 4th–June 10th

Card of the Week: 2011 Topps Walmart Black Parallel

Michael “The Condor” Saunders stats for the week of June 4th through June 10th:

AB: 23

Hits: 9

AVG: .391

Runs: 4

Doubles/Triples: 3/0

Home Runs: 1

RBI: 3

SB: 1

BB/K: 3/5

What Went Wrong? Saunders struggled against the Dodgers talented pitching staff, picking up five strikeouts in the weekend series with L.A. Like the rest of his teammates, he continues to perform poorly at Safeco Field, a problem the Mariners will need to solve soon if they want to stay within striking distance of .500.

What Went Right? The Condor continued to hit the ball with authority throughout the week, collecting four more extra-base hits and raising his average to .272. Keep flying high Condor. Keep. flying. high.

Coverboy Condor: Michael Saunders Continues Making Waves

If I told you a month ago that Michael Saunders would be on the front page of Yahoo Fantasy Sports as a “must add” player, would you have believed me? Of course not! Even as the most ardent of Condor supporters I wouldn’t have believed it myself (though I often dreamed of such a day). Yet here we are on June 7th, and Saunders is leading the Mariners in batting average, stolen bases, and is sporting a healthy .807 OPS.

It’s easy to forget, since he’s been in Seattle since 2009, that Saunders is still just 25-years-old and might just be figuring out big league pitching. His aggressive approach at the plate this season is paying early dividends with 13 first pitch hits in 2012 against just one first pitch hit in 2011. Saunders ability to hit the ball the opposite way and up the middle leaves pitchers fewer spots to expose his swing than last season when his only success came pulling the ball.

After being nonplussed by left-handed pitchers for the first three seasons of his career,  Saunders is hitting southpaws with authority (.873 vs. lefties/.783 OPS vs. righties) and is putting to rest any idea that he is merely a platoon outfielder. He struggled with strikeouts early in the season and probably always will, but he’s K’d just three times over his last 40 at-bats, showing the ability to make adjustments on the fly. Saunders is hitting for average, he’s hitting for power, he’s stealing bases, and he’s playing terrific defense in centerfield.

The Condor is soaring. Enjoy the ride…

The Condor Report: May 7th–May 13th

Card of the Week: 2007 Bowman Sterling Black Refractor RC #1/25

Michael “The Condor” Saunders stats for the week of May 6th through May 13th:

AB: 17

Hits: 4

AVG: .235

Runs: 2

Doubles: 1

Home Runs: 0

RBI: 0

SB: 1

BB/K: 3/4

What Went Wrong? Saunders was caught stealing twice during the week (his first two of the season) and recorded just one extra-base hit.

What Went Right? Saunders showed vastly better plate discipline this week, striking out just four times in 17 at-bats while also drawing three walks. The Condor played a key role in Seattle’s 2-1 win over Detroit on May 9th, reaching base on a pinch-hit double in the 8th before scoring the winning run on a John Jaso base hit.

The Condor Report: April 30th–May 6th

Card of the Week: 2009 Bowman Draft Red Base Parallel #1/1

Michael “The Condor” Saunders stats for the week of April 30th through May 6th:

AB: 26

Hits: 3

AVG: .115

Runs: 2

Doubles: 0

Home Runs: 1

RBI: 1

SB: 0

BB/K: 1/12

What Went Wrong? Coming off one of his best weeks in the majors Saunders looked completely lost at the plate, seemingly regressing to his form of a season ago. The Mariners centerfielder got behind far too often in counts and couldn’t fight back, as witnessed by his 12 strikeouts against just one walk. He had a few hard hit balls that couldn’t find a hole, but Saunders wasn’t doing himself any favors striking out nearly every other trip to the plate. A puzzling showing given his prior performance, The Condor will need to start putting the ball in play more often to keep his average north of the Mendoza Line and a firm grip on his starting job.

What Went Right? The lone highlight of the week was a line drive home run off talented Tampa Bay lefty Matt Moore on 5/1. Oddly enough, three of Saunders four home runs this season have come off southpaws. Hopefully there’s more to BACAW! about next week.