ESPN BOTTOM LINE

Friday, March 25, 2011

Move Over Ben Francisco, Enter John Mayberry Jr.

From: GCOBB.com

He doesn’t receive the recognition. He is rarely discussed by Philadelphia fans. But he’s close to becoming the starting right fielder.

No, this person is not Ben Francisco.

John Mayberry Jr. has quickly climbed the ladder this spring, and he may have played himself into the starting gig come Opening Day.

Due to his .294 average and team-high 11 RBI’s and five home runs, Mayberry has done everything imaginable to convince manager Charlie Manuel to start him.

How can you not start a guy who has more home runs and RBI’s than anybody on your team, including Ryan Howard? Or who is third on the team this spring in runs with nine?

Simply put, Mayberry, who entered the league back in 2005 after being drafted by the Texas Rangers, should not be sitting the bench on Opening Day.

He’s only 27-years old and has a body figure (6-6, 234 pounds) similar to some guy named Jayson Werth.

Mayberry has all the tools: power, speed, and fielding.

He won’t supply the numbers that Werth did during his tenure in Philly, but compared to the likes of Ben Francisco and the injured Domonic Brown, Mayberry has the highest probability of being an impact player this season, in my opinion.

Yes, Brown will be a terrific player… down the road. Francisco, on the other hand, is a career .263 hitter, so Phillies fans know what to expect from him; he would benefit this team more coming off the bench late in games.

Mayberry has been the most impressive player in red pinstripes this spring. Give the kid a chance, and let’s see what he can do when given the opportunity to start in the big leagues.

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