SEATTLE -- Astros center fielder Justin Maxwell struggled mightily at the plate this spring, hitting just .153, but manager Bo Porter never flinched. He remained committed to the promising youngster and was confident he was going to be able perform when the season started.
Maxwell has done just that through one week of the season. He entered Monday's game against the Mariners hitting .381 with two RBIs and a pair of triples, and he singled in his first at-bat Monday. He's also played Gold Glove-caliber center field.
"That's why a lot of times you look at Spring Training numbers, and I think I said this even in the spring, you looked at his numbers and he's hitting a buck something and I go, 'I'm not worried about it,'" he said. "If you looked, he was putting together some of the best swings we had on the team.
"You look at the numbers of balls he put in play hard, and he had a high percentage, and now he's putting the same swings on the ball and he's getting hits, and defensively he's one of the best players in baseball."
When asked if he was the most athletic player on the team, Porter quipped: "If you're taking roll, his name could be at the top of the chart," he said.
Brian McTaggart is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, Tag's Lines. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.