John Mayberry Jr.: Toronto Blue Jays 2014 Year in Review


John Mayberry Jr. arrived in Toronto on August 31st of this past season, where he now wears the same jersey that his father did from 1978-1982.  Mayberry was acquired in a minor deal with the Philadelphia Phillies for OF prospect Gustavo Pierre.

Originally selected in the 1st Round in 2002, John Mayberry Jr. opted to play College Baseball, and was again selected in the 1st Round, 19th Overall, by the Texas Rangers when he re-entered the draft in 2005.  Mayberry is a freakish athlete, standing at 6’6 and 230lbs, and developed quickly into a power hitting prospect in the Rangers’ system.

Mayberry would be traded to the Philadelphia Phillies, where he made his Major League debut in 2009.  By 2011, he had solidified himself as a reliable player in Philadelphia, and posted a very impressive slash line of .273 / .341 / .513 in that season.

Since 2011, however, it seems that Major League pitchers have figured out John Mayberry Jr.  He has a very long swing that can be exploited quite easily, and may be a player that works best in a platoon role, something the Toronto Blue Jays have seen enough of in recent years.  Given his athletic skills and potential, though, John Mayberry Jr. will remain a very interesting name to watch over the coming months.

The Good

Mayberry Jr. does excel in areas that the Blue Jays struggle in, so this could be a beneficial pairing in some senses.  Primarily, he is capable of hitting left-handed pitching very well.


In 300+ fewer at bats against left-handed pitching, Mayberry Jr. has tallied 7 more home runs than he has against right-handed pitchers.  His AVG, OBP and SLG all represent a player who is much more comfortable facing lefties, which could boost a Blue Jays roster that was often sunk by southpaws in 2014.

Depending on how the situations play out with Melky Cabrera and the vacant Centre Field job, Mayberry Jr. could be a strong bat off the bench.  It’s important to note that he has experience playing 1st Base, as well, and may be able to provide a great in-house option to platoon with Adam Lind.

The Bad

Being pegged for platoon play, of course, means that there is a weakness in the player’s game that prevents them from seeing regular playing time.  Mayberry Jr. clearly struggles against right-handed pitching, and has a tendency to strike out too often at the dish.

Defensively, Mayberry Jr. is no liability in the outfield, but the Blue Jays may hope to find a more skilled player with the glove to fill their bench.  For arguments sake, Anthony Gose, despite his shortcomings at the dish, can still provide elite defence in CF.  This gives Gose one dominant trait that Mayberry Jr. does not have, which will force manager John Gibbons to decide which type of bench he ultimately wants to build.


The past few seasons have not been kind to John Mayberry Jr.  He will need to prove that he still has the skill required to excel at a Major League level, and adjust his game to either reach base on a more consistent basis, or become a pure power hitter.

The Future

Much of Mayberry Jr.’s fate depends on what Alex Anthopoulos does, or does not do, over the coming months.  If Melky Cabrera does not return, Mayberry Jr. could be an insurance policy at LF or CF, but Anthony Gose, Kevin Pillar and Dalton Pompey will all be vying for those jobs at the same time.

The most realistic option for Mayberry Jr. appears to be a role on the bench, where he pinch-hits late in games and makes spot starts against left-handed pitching.  On any other team, Mayberry Jr. may not be worth a Major League roster spot at this time, but his strength lines up very well with the Blue Jays’ weakness, and he could contribute from the bottom of the roster in 2015.