Mattison faces stiff competition in Nashville
Milwaukee is notorious for bringing on players with trademark facial hair including former farmhand John Axford.
Enter in Marlins’ left-handed batter Kevin Mattison, selected by Milwaukee in the minor league portion of the Rule 5 draft December 12 and it should be no surprise.
Mattison entered the Marlins’ fray in 2008 when Miami drafted the speedy outfielder from University of North Carolina-Asheville and stole 41 bases in 2009.
The outfielder batted just .250 with an On Base Percentage of .323 for the Greensboro Grasshoppers in 2009 but was caught stealing just six of 47 times during the second season.
In addition, Mattison belted a career high 15 home runs for the South Atlantic League team and nearly matched it in 2012 when he slammed 13 home runs for Triple A New Orleans.
However, he has been unable to hit for average through the span of his six seasons in the Marlins’ organization posting a career .240 batting average.
The low batting average is attributed to lack of plate discipline striking out 666 total times in 2,383 minor league at-bats.
According to UNCABulldogs.com, Mattison was a four-year starter in center field for the Bulldogs from 2005-08. He earned Big South All-Conference honors in 2008. Mattison is the school’s all-time leader for runs (192), triples (23), total bases (423) and steals (57).
It was no wonder the Marlins made the decision to select him in the draft – but after playing six seasons in the Minor Leagues, it is evident his collegiate success could not translate into professional baseball.
Mattison made three appearances with the Marlins in May 2012 when they recalled him from Triple A New Orleans.
Prior to his cup of coffee with the Major League club, he batted .250 with three home runs and 13 runs batted in for the Zephyrs.
The outfielder made five at bats for the Marlins but was unable to come away with any hits in his two Major League appearances in 2012.
Given a crowded outfield of Caleb Gindl, Sean Halton, Kentrail Davis and Eugenio Velez with Nashville in 2014 – Mattison faces tough opposition in making a statement for a recall to Milwaukee.
In addition, utility player Elian Herrera could also hinder Mattison’s efforts with occasional appearances in the outfield.
Herrera was claimed off waivers from the Los Angeles Dodgers organization and has possession of a spot on the Brewers’ 40-man roster.
New Sounds Manager Rick Sweet will likely utilize Mattison as a pinch runner and late-inning defensive replacement in 2014.