Mayberry off to slow start for Phillies
John Mayberry Jr. hit .273 with 15 home runs and 40 RBI as a rookie last season and entered spring training with pretty much a guarantee of making the big-league club as the everyday left fielder.
So, it might surprise some that the 28-year-old is struggling to hit through the first week of the season.
Not for me though, I could see this coming. Mayberry struggled in spring training and has not gotten off to a good start to begin the regular season.
The Rangers drafted Mayberry in the first round in 2005, and he was traded to the Phillies for Greg Golson, a 2006 first round pick of the Phillies. It was thought to be a speed for power type of deal and a change of scenery thing to jump start both players promising careers.
The Phillies were hoping his production from last season in limited at-bats would be the key to this season. They didn't add a meaningful offensive piece to play the outfield this off season, Mayberry was their guy. They are anticipating a guy who could drive-in runs and protect other in the line-up.
Right now, that's not happening.
Ryan Howard's Achilles injury has forced Mayberry to move from left field to play some first base, creating some inconsistency defensively for Mayberry. In seven games, Mayberry is 6-for-27, landing him with a .222 average and eighth strikeouts.
Could moving around defensively be an issue for Mayberry, who is a really good defensive left fielder?
Some have questioned whether the 6-foot-6, 235-pound Mayberry has consistency in his swing to project as the long-term answer in left field. He hit 15 home runs in just 267 at-bats during his first full season in 2011, a and once hit 30 home runs while playing in the Texas minor league system in 2007.
There is no question that Mayberry has the raw power and skill to play at the big league level, but does he have the ability to do it everyday? Personally, Mayberry looks like more of a fourth outfielder. a guy that if he gets exposed to much will struggle.
Mayberry doesn't look like a guy who is going to hit for a high average and he doesn't look like a guy who is going to hit 30-35 major league home runs per season. So is there a place in the everyday line-up for a guy who can hit .265 with 22 homer runs? Sure.
Do I ever think we will consistently see that guy? That I am not so sure of, i'll just hope for now.