All this week Philthy Stuff will be looking back on some of the key moments in one of the best Phillies regular seasons ever.
For all the stars on the best team in baseball a bench player emerging as a power-hitting threat who eats extra base hits for dinner could be the key moment in what could be a championship season.
John Mayberry, Jr. entered the season with just 73 Major League plate appearances under his belt. Despite his few chances, Mayberry had six homers and 14 RBIs but he also struck out an alarming 27 times.
Mayberry had never made an Opening Day roster -- that would change in 2011 when not only did he make the Opening Day roster but also knocked home the game-winning run in the season opener against the Astros.
He would go on to bat .345 and slug an impressive .517 in the opening month of the season but would only manage a single homer. That hot start still earned him more playing time and he wound up playing 27 games (17 starts) in May but Mayberry didn’t meet the challenge managing a lowly .194 batting average and .319 slugging percentage.
That drop-off landed Mayberry back in Triple-A. That would seemingly be the end of this story. But instead of moping, Mayberry fixed the holes in his swing. By July he was back in the majors despite a couple times back and forth with the minors.
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The rest is history, Mayberry went on to bat .292, slug .584 while posting a .922 OPS in the second half. And of his 72 hits overall an impressive 33 (46 percent) have been for extra base hits.
The biggest contribution Mayberry made was the ability to spell Shane Victorino in center, Raul Ibanez in left, the occasional pre-Hunter Pence start in right and even the occasional start at first base. Despite wandering the field he has made just three errors in 200 chances.
Wherever Mayberry plays be it the infield, outfield or pinch-hitting he has also achieved at the dish.
He is fourth on the Phils with 15 homers, fifth with 49 RBIs and second in slugging (.519) despite having just 262 at bats.
Mayberry also hit the game-tying two-run home run in the top of the ninth against the Rockies to save an August game in Colorado.
Besides the moments on the field Mayberry has allegedly tried to date a mermaid and added cool, tall and handsome to the Phillies roster. He also has likely made the left field job in 2012 his to lose.
Not too bad for the son of a former Major Leaguer who spent the majority of six seasons in the minors before finally getting his chance to shine this season.