Mitch Haniger to follow Michael Conforto's Giants breakout, Mike Krukow says

Kruk and Kuip expect Haniger to mimic Conforto's breakout originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea

The Giants soon could have both of their prized offseason additions catching fire.

After slow starts to the 2023 MLB season for both outfielders Michael Conforto and Mitch Haniger, the former has been red-hot in recent weeks, while the latter is showing signs of breaking out of his early-season slump.

Giants broadcasters Duane Kuiper and Mike Krukow joined NBC Sports Bay Area's Cole Kuiper on the latest episode of the "Giants Talk" podcast, where they discussed Conforto's hot stretch and how Haniger could start to catch fire as well.

"We're starting to see the best of Conforto, but we haven't seen the best out of Mitch Haniger, and that's a one-two combination -- a left-handed power hitter and a right-handed power hitter -- that can be deadly," Kuiper said. "And I think Haniger, and Mike feels the same way, is really on his way.

"And you know, Conforto's done it now a couple of times where he's really saved them at the end with a home run. Look, his average isn't where he wants it to be, but the power numbers and RBIs and the clutch hits are."

Conforto, over his last 15 games, is hitting .296/.361/.667 with six home runs and 14 RBI in 54 at-bats. He leads the Giants in homers (10) and is second in RBI (24) behind J.D. Davis (26).

After beginning the season on the injured list, Haniger made his Giants debut on April 24. The veteran slugger started off slow, hitting under .200 throughout his first month with the team, similar to Conforto, but now is showing signs of improvement, hitting .240 in his last seven games while driving the ball to all fields.

In Krukow's opinion, it's only a matter of time before Haniger follows in Conforto's footsteps.

"Conforto has kind of set the tone and Haniger's watching," Krukow added. "Haniger's starting to take the ball to right field. And it can happen when one guy gets it going so well, like Conforto's doing, that other guys can pull off of his success. I think it's happening with Haniger."

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The Giants were at their lowest point this season on April 21, seven games below .500 and searching for answers early on. Since then, San Francisco has gone 18-12 thanks, in part, to Conforto's surge.

If Haniger is to follow, the Giants' lineup could be firing on all cylinders sooner rather than later.

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