This could be the year John Mayberry Jr. makes his presence felt in a lasting role with the Phillies, but he will need to be used correctly.
“Call me crazy but I am liking Mayberry's chances of being a pleasant surprise this year if they use him properly with about 200 at bats with 70-80 percent coming against left-handed pitching. I could see him giving the Phils a line of .260/.320/.460 with 10-12 homers.
"Is Mayberry in 2011 the equivalent of Wes Chamberlain in 1993? Both are 27. Both had serious questions coming into the year about whether they could hit right-handed pitching and off-speed stuff. They both kill fastballs. Both are noted for struggling behind in the count chasing junk out of the zone. Both are moderate pull hitters although not extreme.
"Chamberlain had played a fair amount in ’91 and ’92 because the Phils were terrible and their outfield stunk with the exception of Dykstra in center field. For some reason though, Fregosi actually had Chamberlain face more righties than lefties in ‘93, but it didn’t matter. Chamberlain killed left-handed pitching that year to a line of .328/.374/.612 with nine homers in just 134 at bats.
"They differ in a few key areas. Mayberry has two tools that Chamberlain clearly didn’t have: defense and speed. From what I’ve heard, Mayberry is a guy who listens to what the coaches have to say, works very hard and keeps himself in great shape. He looks absolutely ripped this spring and just kind of glides around the bases and in the field. Chamberlain was a guy who was supposedly very difficult to coach, and by the time he was traded from the Phils in ’94 was kind of chunky.
"I don’t think Mayberry has a 116 OPS+ season in him like Chamberlain did in ’93, but I could see Mayberry become a fixture on this team ending the year with a 1.0-1.5 WAR.” – MG
Beerleaguer: Thanks to MG for this terrific comps. Meanwhile, today the Phillies make their first batch of roster cuts. It will be guys like Harold Garcia, Freddy Galvis, Brian Schlitter and Drew Naylor.