Mark Canha: Mets Left Fielder (2022 - 2023)
Mark David Canha was born on February 15th, 1989, in San Jose, California. He is of Portuguese heritage. He grew up in the Bay Area as a Giants fan, with Barry Bonds being one of his favorite players.
After attending Bellarmine Prep School in San Jose, he went to the University of California at Berkley. There he majored in economics & played for the Golden Bears baseball team. He would also play summer ball in the Cape Cod League with the Brewster White Caps.
The six-foot two outfielder/first baseman was originally drafted by the Florida Marlins in the 7th round of the 2010 June draft. In 2014 he was drafted by the Rockies from the Marlins & got traded to the Oakland A's in December 2014.
Canha made the A's roster in 2015, with the team needing offense after had lost power hitter Josh Donaldson & Brandon Moss.On April 8th, in his MLB debut he collected three hits with four runs driven in, including a bases clearing three run triple off the Rangers Ross Detwiler in a 10-0 A's win.
He drove in twenty runs in the first two months of the season with 6 HRs. That August he batted .309 driving in 21 runs for Oakland with ten doubles & 14 extra base hits. That September he hit five of his seasons 16 HRs & drove in another 16 runs. On the year he hit .254 with 70 RBIs.
In 2016 he had hip surgery & played in just 16 games. In 2017 he returned but struggled hitting just .208. During the season he was optioned to AAA Nashville playing 75 games there batting .283 returning in September, playing an overall 57 games with Oakland.
After the 2018 All Star break, he watched footage of all his season at bats in a single nonstop video session, realizing he had to shrink his strike zone& be more selective on his pitches in order to get on base more. He went from a .328 on base % that year to a .396 on base % in 2019.
That season he had his best year batting .273 with 26 HRs 16 doubles & 58 RBIs scoring 80 runs. He drew 67 walks double from the previous year, was hit by 18 pitches posting the .396 on base & .913 OPS.After the shortened 2021 Covid-19 season he batted. 231 with 17 HRs & 61 RBIs posting a .358 on
base % & .746 OPS leading the league with 27 hit by pitches for the third place A's. That year he set an A's franchise record by getting hit by pitches 60 times in a career.
Mets Career: In the off season he was impressed by Sandy Alderson & Billy Epler's vision of the Mets offense with him on it. He wanted change to do something completely different & playing on the Est Coast in the National League was a challenge he wanted to make. Also being a big foodie, he loved all that New York had to offer.
Quotes- Mark Canha: "I am ready for the big stage to show the world what I can do.
In the Opening Day win in Washington D.C., he singled in the 6th inning off Austin Voth giving the Mets a 3-0 lead.
Hit By Pitches: On April 13th, he got plunked with a pitch by the Phillies Aaron Nola, it was the first time he got hit by a pitch on the season. He would go on to lead the league with a career high 28 hit by pitches. He would get hit twice in April & May, three times in June, four times in July & six times in August. In September Canha would get hit by a pitch eleven times in the month.
Canha said getting hit is not something he sets out to do, but he stands close to the plate challenging pitchers to pitch inside & also has a slower reaction from moving away from the inside pitches. He does enjoy the frustration on a pitcher's face when he gets on base.On April 15th, he would go on the Covid-19 list & had to miss five games. Canha would drive in
six runs in his first eight Mets games. In the first month of the season, he batted .346.
On May 2nd, he hit his first HR of the year coming off Austin Riley in a loss to the Atlanta Braves.
7 Run 9th Inning Come Back: On May 5th the Mets went into the 9th inning down 7-1 to the Phillies in Philadelphia. Canha contributed to the Mets incredible seven run comeback with a single off Corey Knebel bringing in the Mets fourth run. He then scored the tying run on Brandon Nimmo's RBI base hit.
On May 12th, he drove in three games in a 4-1 win over the Nationals, he hit his second HR of the year along with a two-run single. He would hit three more HRs in the month & drive in 14 runs. Beginning on May 23rd he drove in runs in three straight games, with at least an RBI in five of seven games. On May 29th he collected four hits while driving in two runs in a 10-0 win over the Nationals.
On June 10th he had a three RBI games, at Anaheim, he hit a two run double in the 2nd inning then added an RBI base hit in the 6th inning in the Mets 7-3 win. On June 16th he hit a two run HR helping the Mets in a 5-4 win over the Brewers at Citi Field.
On June 24th he hit his sixth HR of the year, it came in Miami off Sandy Alcantara, in a 5-3 win over the Marlins in South Florida, in a game centerfieldmaz attended. He drove in a run the next day as well, putting up the Mets first run in another 5-3 win.
Through the first 96 Mets games, up until August 18th he had only hit 18 extra base hits. After working with the Mets coaches, he started trying to hit the ball in the air more often as well as making some other adjustments. The results were successful as he collected 19 extra base hits in the last 44 games of the year. From August to the end of the regular season he drove in 27 of his 61 RBIs.Five RBI Day: On August 21st he had one of the biggest games of his career, in an exciting win over the Phillies at Citizen's Bank Park. In the 7th inning, with the Mets down 7-4, Canha hit a three run HR off Connor Brogdon to tie up the game.
In the top of the 9th inning, the Mets were down 8-7 when Jeff McNeil led off with a double & Canha hit a two run HR off David Robertson to put the Mets ahead 9-8. Brandon Nimmo would also homer in the inning. It was his only multi-HR game of the year & a season high five runs driven in.
On August 26th, with the Mets tied 3-3 with the Rockies at Citi Field, Canha doubled to centerfield putting the Mets ahead 4-4. In the 8th with the Mets now behind 6-4 he doubled off Carlos Estevez bringing in two runs to tie the game. The Mets won it on Pete Alonso's walk off base hit.
Grand Slam HR: On September 10th in South Florida, Canha hit his first career grand slam HR, it came off the Marlins Andrew Nardi in the 4th inning of the Mets 11-3 win keeping them a half game ahead of the Braves.
On September 20th he was hit by a pitch by the Brewers Brad Boxberger in a 7-5 win at Milwaukee. The next day he was hit twice by Adrian Houser, reaching 25 times getting plunked on the season.
In the Mets disastrous final weekend of play in Atlanta, Canha went hitless in the first two glosses of the sweep, then collected two hits in the 5-3 loss on Sunday. The Mets came into the series leading the division by one game over the Braves & left Atlanta two games behind them. Although they would end up tied with the Braves at the end of the season three days later, they finished second due to head-to-head season play.
In his first season with the Mets Canha led the league in hit by pitches (28) batted .266 with 123 hits 24 doubles 13 HRs & 61 RBIs. He scored 71 runs walked 48 times with a .367 on base % (second on the club to Jeff McNeil) & a .770 OPS.
In the outfield he made no errors posting a perfect .1000 fielding % with three assists turning one double play as well in 132 games (123 in left field).Career Stats: In his eight-year career thru 2022, he batted .248 with 646 hits 131 doubles 13 triples 102 HRs & 355 RBIs. He walked 3030 times was hit by pitches 108 times with a .348 on base% & .775 OPS.
Post Season: In the NLWC series loss to the Padres, he went 0-10 with two walks.
Hobbies: Canha is a big food guy & post pictures of his many experiences related to dining on his Instagram page. He one day plans to make a coffee table book about his food adventures.
Family: His & his wife Marci have two daughters. She works as an architect, they live in San Francisco, Arizona & New York.