|Born:||November 19, 1986|
Victoria, British Columbia, Canada
|Ht: / Wt:||6'4" / 215 lbs|
Mike Saunders is one of the Seattle Mariners' top prospects and has been a part of Baseball Canada since its first attempt at qualifying for the Olympics at the 2006 Americas Qualifier held in Cuba. He participated on the 2007 World Cup and 2008 Final Olympic Qualifier teams as well, batting .214 in the latter as the primary designated hitter.
A millimeter's difference
A solid hockey player when he was a child -- he was recruited by the Seattle Thunderbirds at one point -- Saunders has also dunked a basketball in high school and was also a notable lacrosse and soccer player as a youth. He gave up all of those sports to play baseball. Though, none of that nearly happened, as at the age of 10, Saunders nearly lost the vision in his left eye, as reported by The Toronto Sun. While fly fishing with his father, Dr. Derek Saunders, Michael lost track of his line due to a strong wind and had the hook blow into his eye. "Michael was in front of me, when he said that the hook caught his eye, I thought he meant the corner," Dr. Saunders told The Toronto Sun. Instead, the hook had lodged itself into Michael's iris. Luckily for the then-youngster, the eye never got infected and had been told that if the hook had been a millimeter anywhere else, it could have been a different, much-worse story.
Saunders currently plays for the Triple-A Tacoma Rainiers. He was called up from Double-A West Tennessee this year after hitting .290 in 67 games there. In 14 games with the Rainiers (through July 14), Saunders had hit .275 with two home runs and 12 RBIs. He is described as a five-tool talent by some and has an arm that has hit 91 mph in Saunders' days as a pitcher. The British Columbia native was drafted out of high school but had to attend Tallahassee (Fla.) Community College because of work visa issues with the Canadian team.
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