When the Phillies acquired outfielder John Mayberry Jr. for outfielder Greg Golson, not too many people really batted an eye. It was a swap of minor league
outfielders and the Phillies had basically just swapped an outfielder with speed
for an outfielder with power, but neither had been proven at the major league
level and both figured on needing more work before they would help their
Now, almost four months later, the deal looks to have been good for both
The Phillies got a power-hitting outfielder that could potentially either be
added to their lineup before too long or provide power off the bench in the very
near future. In John Mayberry Jr., the Phillies have a right-handed power bat
that will need to fight to find his way into the lineup, but with what he has
shown this spring, it's going to eventually be tough for the Phillies to ignore
him. Since the very early days of spring training, Mayberry has provided
excitement as part of the Phillies lineup and still has an outside chance of
earning at least a temporary job with the big league club to start the season.
For that to happen, Mayberry is going to need a few things to break out just
right. First, the Phillies would likely have to decide to carry just 11 pitchers
to start the season, which is conceivable, since they really wouldn't need a
fifth starter for the first two weeks of the season. Then, the Phillies would
have to pick Mayberry over a veteran like Marcus Giles. They would also likely
have to have not traded either Geoff Jenkins or Matt Stairs, prompting the need
for another right-handed bat to bring off the bench and they would have also had
to decide not to keep three catchers, which is also a possibility.
Whatever happens with Mayberry, he's provided a lot of excitement this spring
and has Phillies fans believing that Ruben Amaro Jr.'s first-ever trade was a
pretty good one.
"His performance right now reminds me of his start with Oklahoma City
last year, when he began his Triple-A career going 17-for-36 (.472) with all
kinds of power," says Jason Cole of LoneStarDugout.com. "Once the
league saw him a couple of times, he slowed down a bit and was forced to make
adjustments. I am interested to see whether he will be able to make those
adjustments as a member of the Phillies organization."
|Greg Golson has made as good of an impression on Rangers fans as John Mayberry Jr. has on Phillies fans this spring.|
(Photo: Scott Lucas/Newberg Report)
Cole believes that Mayberry is going to be a solid major league player once
he gets over his inconsistent offensive approach. In the Rangers organization,
Mayberry had up and down times, sliding between being an offensive machine and
being a player who could make himself look a little rough at the plate. Over
time though, Cole saw improvements in Mayberry. "He's able to catch up and
get around on inside fastballs more often now, and he's making more consistent
contact (and striking out less)," said Cole.
"He has the raw talent to be a Jermaine Dye-type player, but I also
don't think he'll reach that ceiling." believes Cole.
While Phillies fans have been impressed with Mayberry, Rangers fans are
pretty psyched about Greg Golson, the player that they received in the deal.
After all, all Golson has done is hit .348 (8-for-23) in 14 games with the
Rangers big league squad in the Cactus League. While the Rangers have been
impressed with Golson, they realize that he's going to need more time in the
minors and they reassigned him to their minor league camp to play with the
Triple-A squad, but Cole has heard good things about Golson and the impression
that he made on the Rangers brass.
With Shane Victorino patrolling center field and Jayson Werth also in the
Phillies outfield, Amaro felt that having a speed-type player like Golson wasn't
going to pay off for the club. So, knowing that the organization is weak on
power-hitters, especially at the higher levels, Amaro was comfortable enough to
make the deal.
While both players are likely going to start the season in Triple-A, both are
also well on the radar for their respective clubs. Both could see time with the
major league club this season and both could find themselves being in the
long-term plans for their clubs.
With all things considered, this was a deal that worked very well for both
sides. Exactly the kind of deal that baseball could use more of.