Philadelphia Phillies: The Left Field Position Battle

Zak SchmollAnalyst IApril 3, 2012

PHILADELPHIA - SEPTEMBER 21: Center fielder John Mayberry Jr. #15 of the Philadelphia Phillies runs around the bases after hitting a two run home run during a game against the Washington Nationals at Citizens Bank Park on September 21, 2011 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Nationals won 7-5. (Photo by Hunter Martin/Getty Images)
Hunter Martin/Getty Images

The Philadelphia Phillies have an interesting position battle developing in left field. Juan Pierre has had an amazing spring training and has started in left field frequently. On the other hand, John Mayberry Jr. busted out in 2011 and should hopefully continue to improve and develop into an even stronger power hitter.

According to a report by Jay Greenberg on, Charlie Manuel seems to be favoring Mayberry as the eventual everyday left fielder. However, Pierre should receive substantial playing time as well right off the bat. Manuel told Greenberg:

"He [Mayberry] may not be an everyday starter starting out, but he's going to play a lot and he'll be given every chance in the world to be an everyday player."

The reason this is such an interesting battle, however, is because both of these players are talented, but they definitely bring different offerings to the table.

Last season, Mayberry demonstrated some major power as he hit 15 home runs in 267 at-bats. Also, he had a pretty decent .273 batting average with eight stolen bases. Power will be at a premium for the Philadelphia Phillies given the absences of Ryan Howard and Chase Utley. Mayberry has a decent all-around set of tools highlighted by his power.

On the other hand, Pierre is all about speed. In his career, he has stolen 554 stolen bases. His batting average normally hovers around .280 and he puts the ball in play. He barely draws any walks, but he also barely strikes out. Overall, he has had a strong major league career, and he will add an element of speed alongside Shane Victorino and Jimmy Rollins.

Therefore, even though it does appear that Mayberry has the upper hand in this battle, the Phillies have two strong yet different options. This might be valuable and allows for some flexibility that many other teams might not have.

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