Dollar a day: John Mayberry Jr.

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:

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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.


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Mark Himmelstein
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Mark Himmelstein
I’m on the Mayberry bandwagon. The only other question seems to me how they handle him position-wise. Do they have him start the year in left field? It’d be nice if they go the first base route and ensure him dual eligibility (he already has it in 10-game requirement leagues like Yahoo, but not 20 like ESPN, where the dual eligibility carries more value in standard formats since they have just three man benches and a CI slot). If he starts at first, who starts in left? Juan Pierre? If its Dominic Brown could that create a playing time riks… Read more »
Jacob Rolling Rothberg
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Jacob Rolling Rothberg

Who do you like more this year (because they seem like comparable guys) Lahair or Mayberry?

Ben Pritchett
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Ben Pritchett
I agree that Mayberry is easily worth a dollar in all decently sized leagues, but I don’t think the comparison to Morse is fair to how good Morse is… I understand that all these stats look very similar on the surface, but if you dig farther there are some key differences. Look at the batting averages. I see that Mayberry had his best AVG year of his entire career including the Minors at .273. Is he getting things together? Maybe. Morse is a career .296 hitter. Even if you take into account the similar BABIPs and CT% to Mayberry, there’s… Read more »
Nick Fleder
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Nick Fleder

If Morse goes 25/10/.265 with 90 RBIs and 75 runs (similar to Morse’s numbers), he’d be worth 17 bucks in a std league.

I’d prefer him to Bryan LaHair, and will go in depth later.

Randy
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Randy

I think they’ll play Thome more at 1B early in the season than Mayberry, with Wiggy gettin at-bats there as well. It doesn’t make sense to start the season with Brown in the majors nor does it make sense to have Mayberry playing the easier position if you intend on playing him in LF longer term. The one caveat is if they think Howard will struggle to get healthy and play regularly when he returns. Why else would you sign Thome and Wigginton? I think Manuel intends to use them a lot.

Kevin
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Kevin
The word here in Philadelphia is that Thome will receive about 25 starts at 1B over the course of the season. I would imagine about half of those occur while Howard is out (which is looking more and more like June now with the set back). If I had to guess, you’ll see a three-way timeshare with Wigginton, Thome, and Mayberry at 1B for two months, with Mayberry and Pierre splitting time in left field, with a guess that Mayberry plays 4-5x per week. The Phillies aren’t exactly the most intelligent organization, so don’t assume they will do the smart… Read more »
Ben Skalina
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Ben Skalina
@Ben Pritchett I think a more apt comp on HR distance would be Mayberry ‘11 against Morse ‘10: Morse ‘10: http://www.hittrackeronline.com/detail.php?id=2010_4569&type=hitter JMJ ‘11 http://www.hittrackeronline.com/detail.php?id=2011_4345&type=hitter The difference becomes smaller, no? Morse still averaged about 10 ft more per home run, largely because of his power to all fields. Mayberry basically pulls all of his home runs. Given that spray pattern, and the relatively cozy confines of Citizens Bank, the distance disparity doesn’t seem as important. Granted, Morse’s power is more versatile, but last year’s Mayberry with a full season of at-bats could well pop 25 homers, and if he improves slightly… Read more »
Ben Pritchett
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Ben Pritchett
I totally see your point Ben Skalina. My main use of those Hittracker HR plots was to accentuate the kind of hitter Morse is compared to JMJ. You’re right that the HR difference is smaller when comparing 2010 to 2011, but the way Morse hits his HRs to all fields is the more important point I wanted to show. Guys that spray power tend to be the more prime power guys. Morse showed incredible growth that JMJ can’t possibly do as a pull-hitter. I know what you’re thinking but JMJ doesn’t have the power of Bautista so don’t use the… Read more »
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