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Hey, remember Nick Maton? 

Maton, the Philadelphia Phillies seventh round pick in the 2017 MLB Draft, made his debut with the club on April 19, 2021, and he made sure to seize the moment.

Maton was called up to the majors as a result of eight players on the Phillies being placed on the COVID-19 injured list. He started at shortstop that night versus the San Francisco Giants, notching his first major league hit against starter Kevin Gausman in the sixth inning.

The 24-year-old built upon this momentum during his time with the big league club, collecting 11 starts in April, with a slashline of .333/.366/.436, and 13 hits, four of them  being doubles.

With Didi Gregorius going down with an injury, Maton earned even more starts during May, and he continued to be serviceable to the team. Despite posting only a .626 OPS, he had 13 hits, two doubles, seven RBI, four walks, and the first and second home runs of his major league career versus the Toronto Blue Jays on May 16.

After Gregorius returned from injury, along with Bryce Harper and J.T. Realmuto, and manager Joe Girardi's preference of Ronald Torreyes, Maton saw his starts with the club start to wind down. He went from starting 15 games in May to just five in June.

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Overall, he appeared in nine games, batting .267/.429/.467, with a double, triple, and five RBI. On June 26, he picked up an RBI-single off of New York Mets ace Jacob deGrom, who was nearly unhittable in the first-half of the season.

That being said, Maton was eventually sent back down to Triple-A Lehigh Valley, making only seven more appearances in the majors following June 30. 

He finished 2021 with a .256/.323/.385 slashline, with 30 hits, 16 runs, two home runs, 14 RBI, and two stolen bases. With RISP, Maton bat .308/.296/.462 with 11 RBI in 23 games, and with two outs and RISP, a .923 OPS in 13 games. Maton came up clutch for Philadelphia during the first-half of 2021.

Additionally, he hit fairly well against lefties, something the Phillies as a team struggled with. While Maton slashed .325/.357/.525 in 27 games, the team hit for a combined .246/.323/.410.

So, that's why it was a bit disappointing that the Phillies elected to send him back down to the minors and not provide him more opportunities to start after finding some success in the major leagues. 

It's unclear what his role with the Phillies will be in 2022, or whether we'll see him in the majors at all. Either way, hopefully the young player continues to find his stride and is offered some consistency, whether it's in the major or minor leagues.

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