With the Phillies ceding first place in the National League East to the Mets, it’s been a rough go of it this past week for the Philadelphia faithful. Recent injuries to key contributors like Jean Segura, José Alvarado and Archie Bradley have left the squad short handed, and team architect Dave Dombrowski has looked to the farm system to fill the holes. One recent call up in particular has made a lasting impression on the City of Brotherly Love. Enter second baseman Nick Maton.
An Illinois native, 24-year-old Nick Maton was a seventh round draft choice of the Phillies in 2017 out of Lincoln Land Community College. While Maton looked to be in line for a mere cup of coffee when backup shortstop Ronald Torreyes went on the Injured List, his performance has made it almost impossible for him not to stay in the majors for a prolonged period of time. Thrust into a starting role at second base when Jean Segura went down with a quad strain, Nick Maton has torn the cover off the ball in his six games thus far, racking up 11 hits over 22 at bats, compiling three doubles, one RBI and an otherworldly .500/.542/.636 slash line in the process.
Is Nick Maton going to maintain this level of play for the rest of the season? Undoubtedly not. But, our hero’s story is not about the Phillies discovering the next Mike Trout. Instead, it is about an unheralded prospect who was thrown into the spotlight and has performed far better than anyone could have anticipated. Nick Maton will likely go back to a bench role once the Phillies are back at full strength, and will continue to be a valuable contributor. However, the amazing part of this journey isn’t the ultimate outcome, but rather how a young man rose to the occasion and set a city desperate for something to cheer for on fire.