JUSTIN MAFFEI, CENTER FIELDER
|Born: August 27, 1991
Drafted: 25th Round, 749th Overall, 2013
How Acquired: Draft
College: San Francisco
WTM’S PLAYER PROFILE
|Maffei played two years at the College of San Mateo and then transferred to San Francisco for his Junior year. The dropoff in his stats in 2012 no doubt resulted from the move from a small college to a big program. His hitting, and especially his patience, dropped off in his senior year, too. Maffei has good speed and has been fairly consistent on the basepaths throughout his college career. He batted lead-off for San Francisco and played center field. As a senior, he signed quickly.
The Pirates sent Maffei initially to the GCL. They assigned a number of college draftees there, which is a departure from their recent practices. Maffei was the GCL Bucs’ primary center fielder until Austin Meadows was activated. He didn’t hit well or show much patience. The Pirates moved him up to Jamestown in late July and he played occasionally there, mostly in left. He struck out in over 40% of his ABs at Jamestown.
Maffei opened the season at West Virginia, playing most of the time thanks to the projected Power outfield being entirely lost to injury. At the beginning of July, Maffei moved up to Bradenton, essentially trading places with Jeff Roy, who was demoted shortly afterward. At both spots, Maffei split his time between left and center. He did little offensively at West Virginia, but after the promotion suddenly started hitting. He had a big platoon split, posting a .798 OPS against LHPs and .657 against RHPs.
Maffei was the fourth outfielder at Bradenton all year, but he got a lot of playing time thanks to the Pirates holding Harold Ramirez back in extended spring training and then promoting Barrett Barnes at mid-season. Maffei had a good season, especially considering that the league as a whole hit just 248/313/337. He had no L/R or home/road split to speak of. Maffei played the outfield corners exclusively, mostly left.
Maffei spent a large part of the season in extended spring training. There’s no indication it was injury-related; instead, the Pirates just appear to have had other players they wanted to play. In the end, he got limited playing time as a backup at the upper three levels. He saw time at all three outfield positions.
Maffei again served as an upper-level fill-in, playing all three outfield positions. He spent much of the first half of the season in extended spring training, appearing in one game with Indianapolis in each of April and May. As the season wore on, injuries and promotions created more needs and Maffei ended up playing semi-regularly for Altoona in August. He hit respectably throughout, with good plate discipline.
Maffei has been a very useful organizational player, as he can play any position in the outfield and is a solid hitter who gets on base well. He won’t be a free agent until after the 2019 season.
|2018: Minor league contract
|Signing Bonus: N/A
MiLB Debut: 2013
MiLB FA Eligible: 2019
MLB FA Eligible:
Rule 5 Eligible: Eligible
Added to 40-Man:
Options Remaining: 3
MLB Service Time: 0.000
|June 8, 2013: Drafted by the Pittsburgh Pirates in the 25th round, 749th overall pick; signed on June 12.|