It seems like ages ago when John Mayberry Jr. excited fans with 15 homers, 49 RBI and a .275 average in just 104 games in 2011. He seemed like a sure bet to crack at least 25 the following year and maybe drive in 100 runs. Now it’s two years later and he hasn’t even achieved those numbers in the 2012 and 2013 seasons combined, in almost 800 at bats.
Mayberry’s rough season was put on halt June 4, when he led the Phillies to the win with two extra inning homers, including the walk-off winner.
This season was certainly one to forget for the 29-year-old outfielder. What started out as a decent first three months (.255 average, 13 doubles, six home runs, 21 RBI) quickly turned sour when the All-Star break and second half rolled around.
In the second half of the season Mayberry did not even break the Mendoza line, hitting just .199 from the midway point through the end of the season. His tough season at the dish culminated in a one home run one RBI month of September, complete with a .175 average, .214 on base percentage and sub .500 OPS for the month.
One of the most frustrating aspects of Mayberry’s season was his lack of timely hitting, even when he was in the midst of stretches where he was swinging the bat well. Throughout the course of the year he batted just .220 with runners in scoring position, which lowered to .091 in 44 at bats with runners in scoring position and two outs. He struck out ten more times (90) than he had hits (80).
Mayberry’s decline has been alarmingly quick. He has regressed in home runs, RBI, average, OBP, slugging percentage and OPS each season since 2011, and his once sharp defense has become suspect. Often times this season Mayberry misjudged fly balls and took bad bounces off the wall-things that may not show up in the error column sometimes, yet still made a difference.
Mayberry’s big day in 2013 came on June 4 against Miami, when he blasted two home runs in extra innings and drove in five to propel the Phillies to a win. Unfortunately, that game was surrounded by struggles. Leading up to that day, he had gone 24 of 25 games without driving in a run, and after June 4 it took him almost a month’s worth of games before he had another two home runs and five runs batted in combined.
Mayberry finished the season going just 2-for-14 in his last seven games with no extra base hits or runs batted in, ending the worst campaign of his young career.
Grade: D. It’s hard to give him an F because he did at least provide some bits of production, but the regression at a time when a (fairly) young ballplayer should be developing is alarming. He hasn’t been injured, and he has been getting at bats, but his production in 2013 slipped below the acceptable mark. Between the long looping swing, chasing sliders three feet outside and his frustrating tendency to try to pull everything, Mayberry has earned just about as low a score for the season as a position player can have.