By Spike Eskin
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Jayson Werth started as a platoon outfielder who blossomed into a star with the Phillies. Former Phillies pitcher Mitch Williams thinks that this year, John Mayberry Jr. will take that same step.
Williams, who is now a studio analyst for the MLB Network, told 94WIP’s Angelo Cataldi and The Morning Team that Mayberry will no longer be a part-time player. “One way or another, he’s in the lineup,” Williams said. “I think he’s going to be the every day first baseman until Ryan Howard gets back. Mayberry is going to play on an every day basis. And this kid, I’ve been saying the last two years, is the next Jayson Werth waiting to happen.”
“Number one, his approach at the plate. He’s very quick inside, he can hit a breaking ball. I was busting on Charlie last year, telling him ‘look, you put this kid in the lineup, you can talk him into being a big league hitter.’ And if you look at how it started, how Jayson started here in Philly. Mayberry started the same way in a platoon situation. He hit more home runs and drove in more than Chase Utley last season. So to me, this guy is just waiting to explode.”
Werth signed a seven year, $126 million contract last season with the Washington Nationals. In his first season with the team, Weth hit .232 with 20 home runs and 58 RBI’s. Mayberry hit .273 with 15 home runs and 49 RBI’s, in about 300 fewer at-bats. Perhaps Mayberry would like to get the same kind of contract without the same drop off in production.
Listen to the entire interview with Mitch Williams: