Right fielder John Mayberry – the Rangers' first round pick in the 2005 draft – recently completed his second full season of professional baseball. The former Stanford University standout split his time evenly between High-A Bakersfield and Double-A Frisco this past season.
Though Mayberry batted just .235 on the year, he launched 30 home runs, knocked in 83, and swiped 16 bases in 18 attempts.
The 23-year-old is currently participating in the Arizona Fall League alongside some of the Rangers' other top offensive prospects. Mayberry has been one of the most impressive hitters in the league early on, as he is currently hitting .290 with three home runs in eight games. The 6-foot-6 outfielder – who had 48 walks versus 126 whiffs in the regular season – has also shown improved plate discipline with the AFL's Surprise Rafters. He has drawn six walks while striking out six times in 31 at bats.
Lone Star Dugout caught up with Mayberry after Surprise's 10-3 victory over the Peoria Saguaros on Thursday night.
Jason Cole: What are your thoughts on your Arizona Fall League season thus far?
John Mayberry: I think it's going pretty well. I'm trying to get re-adjusted to playing after getting a couple weeks off at the end of the year. I'm trying to stay sharp and kind of pick up where I left off.
Cole: After playing a full minor league season and now coming here, do you feel a little bit tired?
Mayberry: I don't think so at this point. I think adrenaline takes over and you don't really think about how tired you are. I think that's just a testament to being in the weight room and getting yourself in the best condition to perform out here.
Cole: What is it like to be playing with so many other prospects seven days a week?
Mayberry: It's a lot of fun just being able to make your way around the league with some of the best prospects from each organization. You're definitely out here to compete, but you're also out here in some sense as a spectator. You're seeing how other guys go about their business.
Cole: You got to play in Hawaii Winter Baseball last season. Is that league anything like the Arizona Fall League?
Mayberry: It is in some aspects. I think it's like the Hawaiian league in that it is pretty laid back. They let you have a little bit of freedom. But the objectives are the same – to get everybody better and hopefully get us to the big leagues.
Cole: What have you been working on at the plate since you arrived here?
Mayberry: Basically just trying to fine-tune myself. I'm trying to be more disciplined at the plate. I want to make sure I get a good pitch to hit and I'm just trying to use the whole field.
Cole: Having walked and struck out six times each in 31 at bats, it seems like that's working well for you.
Mayberry: I think it's starting to pay off. You just have to stay with your approach and hopefully the results will follow.
Cole: Going back to your regular season, you got off to a very fast start in Double-A Frisco and then slowed down a little toward the end. What do you think caused that?
Mayberry: Once you get around the league the opposing teams start to make adjustments. They exploit your weaknesses. I think that's a little bit of what happened. I'm working here to try and rectify those faults.
Cole: What have you been doing to – like you said – rectify those faults?
Mayberry: I think the big thing is just being in a good position. Being in a good position allows your swing path to be where you want it to be. I'm just making sure that I'm square to the ball, square to the pitcher, and from there hopefully the results will come.
Cole: Have you been working on anything in the field during the fall league?
Mayberry: Yeah. I would say the biggest thing has just been my mechanics throwing the ball. I'm just trying to get rid of the ball quicker and get a good carry on it.
Cole: Being able to play your home games at the Rangers' complex, have you been able to work with any of the Rangers coaching staff?
Mayberry: Yeah. The Rangers' participants in the Arizona Fall League were actually out here for about a week of instructional league. That's when we kind of had the opportunity to work with the Rangers personnel on various little things that we need to work on.
Mayberry fine-tuning approach
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