The Philadelphia Phillies have been courting Minnesota outfielder Michael Cuddyer for a few months now. In fact, one of the “jobs” for new Phillies first baseman-pinch hitter Jim Thome was to help sell Philadelphia to Cuddyer.
But, despite the Phillies seeming best efforts, Cuddyer is yet to sign with the Phillies or anywhere else for that matter. The Twins are working hard to bring Cuddyer back, and the market is quiet enough that they may not have to go to three years to make it happen. Only the Phillies have made much noise regarding Cuddyer and some are reporting that the Phillies have turned their interest to using their cash to bring Jimmy Rollins back instead. The other suitors for Cuddyer were the Indians and their interest ended when Grady Sizemore chose to re-sign.
So, at this point, it looks like the Phillies will hand the starting left field job over to John Mayberry Jr. with help from Ben Francisco. Recently acquired Ty Wigginton is also in the mix; Wigginton can play first base and also the corner outfield positions, but is probably best suited as third base relief for Placido Polanco. The Phillies may look to bring Raul Ibanez back for one year. Another option is to bring back another former Phillie, Aaron Rowand who is likely available at a bargain basement price. It is clear, however, that the Phillies will need to add another outfielder as Mayberry Jr. is likely to spend some time early in the season at first base while Ryan Howard works on getting back into the lineup from his season ending injury on the Phils last at bat of the year.
So, assuming that the Phillies left fielders are Mayberry Jr., Francisco and a player to be named later, what are the fantasy baseball prospects for John Mayberry Jr. for the 2012 fantasy baseball season?
John Mayberry Jr. had a solid 2011 campaign (.273/19/49/8) and impressed the coaches and fans. Many experts, including our friends at Razzball, are saying that Mayberry is the best choice at first base for 2012. One thing is for sure, whether Mayberry Jr. plays first base of left field, he’s surely going to get the at bats that his performance last year entitles him to.
2012 Fantasy Baseball Projection: John Mayberry Jr. — Mayberry Jr. got 495 at bats with the Triple-A Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs in 2010. He hit .267/15/65/20. The way things currently shape up, Mayberry Jr. could get 450 at bats in 2012 for the Phillies. He’s never been a huge home run hitter, but some of the bombs and the 15 HR’s in limited at bats in 2011 seem to tell you otherwise. Mayberry Jr.’s recent stolen base surge (20 with the Iron Pigs in ’10 and 8 last year with the Phils) are an added bonus. With the current Phillies lineup, we project 450 at bats for Mayberry Jr. with 22 home runs, 15 stolen bases, 85 RBI, and a batting average of .270.