Mayberry Should Hope for Endless Summer – Phillies Nation

Mayberry Should Hope for Endless Summer

Call me, Mayberry? (MLB)

Heading into 2012, a lot of hope was placed on John Mayberry Jr. to fill the hole in left field. After being recalled on July 5, 2011, Junior was a very productive player, hitting .301/.358/.607 with 12 HRs in 179 PA primarily against left-handed pitching. Mayberry was the perfect compliment to an aging Raul Ibanez in left down the stretch and helped the Phillies cruise to their fifth straight division title.

In Spring Training 2012, however, Mayberry struggled. Hitting a paltry .203/.259/.304 line, Mayberry seemingly relinquished an opportunity to play everyday to Juan Pierre. Mayberry received 258 PA through July 31, hitting just .235/.275/.391 with 8 HRs. Mayberry was receiving playing time more like a super-sub than a starter, playing 16 games at two or more positions, and coming off of the bench in 35 of his 93 appearances in 101 Phillies’ games. After trades sent Shane Victorino to LA and Hunter Pence to San Francisco, Mayberry, almost by default, became the everyday center fielder. He has very quietly delivered and is a big reason the Phillies have been much improved in the second half.

Mayberry’s second half is shaping up much like his promising run from last season. Since August 1, Mayberry has hit .301/.355/.513 with 6 HRs. First half v. second half, Mayberry improved his OPS by over 200 points, drawing only two fewer walks in 56 less plate appearances, in striking out 34 fewer times. Mayberry’s BABIP has only increased by .006 comparing the first and second half, despite a 57 point increase in batting average in the same time span.

Despite his successes, there are reasons Mayberry likely does not figure into the Phils’ everday plans. First, Mayberry’s 2011 struggles against righties have continued in 2012. In 2012, Mayberry has hit just .230/.295/.355, striking out 61 times compared to a .250/.330/.455 line last year. Second, Mayberry continues to crush pitching at home but struggles on the road. In 2011, Mayberry hit .305/.368/.550 at home v. .243/.316/.478 versus .270/.317/.439 at home in 2012 v. .240/.282/.419 on the road.

Yet, as the disappointing season winds down, there is reason for Mayberry to enjoy his second half successes. Mayberry has not only picked up the offensive production but also has provided above-average defense at first, left, and right this year. The BABIP numbers (.301 in 2012 v. .293 in 2011) suggest that Mayberry has actually been ever-so-slightly “luckier” this year than last; knowing this, it may be safe to assume that the real Mayberry may be directly between his final numbers from 2011 and 2012, with an rather strong platoon split skewed toward success against lefties. Either way, as Mayberry’s 2012 successes continue, he may be hoping for an endless summer.

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  1. DCmikey

    September 6, 2012 at 5:47 pm

    So what’s the verdict….platoon in 2013 at CF? Starter?

    • Ian Riccaboni

      September 6, 2012 at 6:39 pm

      I’ll vote very useful bench piece. I just don’t think he can hit righties well enough to play everyday and he hasn’t murdered lefties this year like he did last.

      • moondog

        September 7, 2012 at 10:26 am

        Totally agree with that assessment. Phils need a much better RH bat behind Howard.

  2. Cs

    September 6, 2012 at 6:18 pm

    JMJ is over rated.


    September 6, 2012 at 9:10 pm

    I hope the dude keeps hitting. He has been impressive at the plate lately. And he plays decent defense at four positions.

  4. Brooks

    September 6, 2012 at 9:12 pm

    Just like Raul Ibanez last year, we cannot tolerate a hitter who comes alive 2 months of each season. He needs to be replaced, he is part of the Phils offensive problems.

  5. bacardipr

    September 6, 2012 at 10:50 pm

    Im with Ian on this, and partly with Brooks. I dont think JMJ can hit righties(well enough) to be a everyday player. However, i still think he can be put to good use. Platooning the OF and giving Howard a break here and there. I also agree with Brooks, we need more consistency in this offense. We already have aged and broken pieces on this team as it is.

  6. jake

    September 7, 2012 at 5:26 am

    I agree with the majority of the thoughts here. JMJ is a valuable bench player. He’s a 4th outfielder, replacement 1b who can fill in for long stretches in case of injury. That’s a valuable role that the phillies need to have filled competently. So JMJ def. has a place on this team going forward. Just don’t see him as a starter.That is until he learns how to hit righties. He does that and I’ll reconsider all of this.

  7. George

    September 7, 2012 at 9:08 am

    The problem with Mayberry as a fourth outfielder is that the Phils already have several of those. Schierholtz, Pierre (although he may not be re-signed), possibly Brown, and Nix. One of them will surely have to go, unless Amaro is planning platoons in more than one outfield spot.

  8. Carolyn

    September 7, 2012 at 10:31 am

    Earlier this summer, I met JMJ’s dad at a KC Royals blood drive. As he was signing my Royals shirt, I mentioned that I was really a Phillies fan and wished his son the best. He looked me in the eye and said, “Then call him up and tell him to turn it up a notch!” Maybe JMJ got the message!

  9. betasigmadeltashag

    September 7, 2012 at 12:47 pm

    I am not sure any of them have to go. Dom is expected to be an everyday corner OF Ns ix is your left handed bench bat. Not sure Pierre is coming back, and JMJ becomes your fourth OF and replacement for Howard cause he is going to need a few days off.
    One other thing I may disagree with is depending on who they get to play 3rd base, I think you can have a above average CF hit 240-250 with 20 HRs. I know I drank the Kool JMJ last year, and I am a little insane to do it again. But I see him being a significant part of this team in 2013

    • George

      September 7, 2012 at 5:07 pm

      You left out Schierholtz, who has always been no more than a platoon player. That could change, of course, but so far he doesn’t appear to be a true regular. Also, if Brown can’t handle the corner every day, then what do they do with him?

      One other thing I’d be aware of is that Mayberry seems to do better with regular playing time. He may not be the best option for a part time outfielder.

      Even if Brown can be an everyday guy, and Pierre is gone, there’s still Mayberry, Nix, and Schierholtz, which appears to me to be a surplus of fourth outfielders.

  10. Lefty

    September 7, 2012 at 12:56 pm

    I’m in the tank for JMJ, it’s no secret, I always hope he does well. But it’s also a fact that had he played better in the beginning of the season like he’s been playing the last month, the team would be a lot closer to contending.

    He’s the type of guy that I hate to see traded, because that type almost always comes back to haunt you. But at the same time, his inconsistent hitting is a problem. He’s an enigma for sure. In his recent interview with Salisbury, RA Jr. mentioned the possibility of a Brown/Mayberry platoon for next season.

  11. Bob in Bucks

    September 7, 2012 at 1:34 pm

    To state the obvious it all depends on the options. Nix is signed for another year so he stays most probably as LH bat off the bench. It all really depends on what Amaro does at 3B or the OF. Personally I would focus on the bullpen. The offense is “good enough” when the pitching is on. A cheap outfield may be the way to go for now. They will have to look at Ruf if he can put back to back years together and I don’t see a need to make a decision before then. I see 2013 as a “bridge” year since the FA market is weak and they have little room to maneuver. They will have to decide about Doc and Utley for 2014.

    • George

      September 7, 2012 at 5:13 pm

      From what I’ve read, next year’s free agents will be no better than this years. The Phils will definitely have to come up with a 3rd baseman, because no one in the system is ready. CF, maybe they can find someone cheap (barely adequate).

  12. Dave Lerch

    September 8, 2012 at 10:55 am

    I like Mayberry and especially his versatility being able to play multiple positions at a high level. We need to keep him and find a way to plug him in wherever we need him, He is valuable in my opinion. Dom Brown can’t play baseball at the major league level and should be traded as soon as possible before he demonstrates how inept he is at every facet of the game. If DB is part of our starting lineup next year, we are in for major disappointment!

    • schmenkman

      September 8, 2012 at 11:33 am

      I would still put my chips on DB to have the better career.

      • schmenkman

        September 8, 2012 at 11:46 am

        (and I also like Mayberry as a versatile backup or platoon OF and 1B. He provides very good defense at the corners and while not a great CF, can fill in there in a pinch)

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