Monday, March 05, 2012
Dollar a day: John Mayberry Jr.Posted by Nick Fleder at 6:29am
Ryan Howard? Injured.
Raul Ibanez? Run outta town.
Domonic Brown? Needs more polishing.
Enter John Mayberry Jr., this year’s Michael Morse, and the Phillies' de facto first baseman for the first two months, and presumed left fielder from there on out.
Don’t believe me about the Michael Morse comparison? Their half-season breakouts are strikingly similar. Behold:
The readily apparent difference is that Mayberry possesses much more speed. Both had concerns in development; Morse’s position, focus, cleanliness (I don’t mean hygienically, but in terms of HGH testing) and pedigree was all in question. For Mayberry, it was plate discipline, plate discipline, and more plate discipline.
He’s always been a gifted athlete but finally harnessed his speed in his third go-round at Triple-A (in and of itself a glaring question mark, I know), where he stole 20 bags. He’d hit for double digit power at five previous levels, including twice in Triple-A, but scared off scouts with his consistent 20 percent or higher strikeout rates.
In 2011, though, Mayberry swung less outside of the zone, and made contact more when he did; he swung and missed, additionally, on nearly 10 percent fewer pitches. As a result, his 267 at-bat cameo (similar, again, to Morse’s 266 at-bat foreshadowing in 2010) yielded a respectable 18.6 percent strikeout rate.
So: your last pick? Make it this year’s power breakout.
Nick can be reached for questions, comments, or concerns via email: nick.fleder AT gmail DOT com.