Philadelphia Phillies: The Rise of John Mayberry Jr.
During today's game against the Braves in an interview, Phillies hitting coach Greg Gross was asked if he saw "this" coming from John Mayberry Jr.
His answer was, "I wish I could say I did."
Before this season, John Mayberry Jr. was considered a quadruple-A player; too advanced but the minors but not enough talent to succeed in the majors.
He was known throughout the organization by his father, John Mayberry Sr., who played 15 MLB seasons and was a two time all-star.
The past few seasons John Jr. has been called up, but had not shown he could be a starter in the future for the Phillies.
Now, John's name is almost expected to be on the lineup card every night, taking time in Left Field away from Raul Ibanez.
In only 84 games, Mayberry is hitting .262 with 13 HR and 44 RBI. To put these numbers in perspective, in 132 games Jayson Werth only has 18 HR and 52 RBI.
Mayberry has proven he deserves to be the starting left fielder over Ibanez with his recent success. Unlike Raul he has shown he can consistently hit left-handed pitchers, which has earned John most of his playing time.
Mayberry has hit .286 with over half his HR (7) and has recorded 17 RBI against lefties. Ibanez hits only .198 against lefties.
It will be interesting to see how Charlie Manuel handles the Mayberry/Ibanez situation towards the end of the season and the playoffs, but recently he has seemed to favor Mayberry.