Cameron Maybin: Has He Finally Found a Home?

This previous off season, Cameron Maybin was traded from the Marlins to the Padres for  Edward Mujica and Ryan Webb. Before that trade, he was traded from the Tigers to the Marlins as part of the the Dontrelle Willis and Miguel Cabrera trade. He is now having an outstanding season with the Padres by generating 4.3 WAR (only 2.2 WAR previously in his entire career). He has been a nice source of steals (38) and Runs (79) this season. If his cards fall right next season, he should see similar or better numbers.

The 24 year old has hit a bit better this season compared to his past 4 seasons.

2007 to 2010: 601 PA, 0.246/0.313/0.380, 13 HRs
2011: 539 PA, 0.267/0.323/0.397, 9 HRs

He is seeing some jumps in the production. Considering he plays in offense suppressing PETCO Park, his values may actually be higher elsewhere. Fantasy baseball doesn’t care for park adjustments, so his value is tied to his actual stats.

Cameron’s main fantasy value is his ability to steal bases. In his previous 4 seasons, he attempted a stolen base once every 7.9 times he was one base. This season that number has improved to once every 3.8 times on base.

The increase in SB attempts didn’t happen right away this season. From the beginning of the season until July 16, Cameron mainly batted 5th or lower in the lineup. During that time he attempted a SB once every 6.1 times he got on base, which is similar to his career numbers. Since July 16th, he has mainly hit leadoff or in the 3 hole and attempted a stolen base once every 2.5 times on base. Since moving him up in the batting order, he has gotten the green light to steal more often.

Here is his stats from before and after moving up in the lineup:

First 309 PA: 0.261/5 HR/21 RBI/40 Runs/14 SB
Next 230 PA: 0.275/4 HR/17 RBI/39 Runs/24 SB

Besides the increase in stolen bases, the effect of a higher lineup position can be noticed in his Runs scored. In 70 less PA, he has scored almost the same number of Runs.

One problem his fantasy owners will have to deal with is that he will not get many home runs. I would expect his number to be roughly around 8 to 15 HRs per 600 PAs.

Cameron Maybin looks to be around around 0.260 hitter with HR totals in the low teens. His main value is from stolen bases and to a lesser extent, the Runs he scores. Much of his recent increase in value is due to his move to the top of the Padres lineup. Taking his stats from the second half and projecting them to 600 PA, he would have 100 Runs and 62 SB. His 2012 value will be closely tied to him staying at the top of the lineup and keeping the green light to continue stealing bases.

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Jeff writes for FanGraphs, The Hardball Times and Royals Review, as well as his own website, Baseball Heat Maps with his brother Darrell. In tandem with Bill Petti, he won the 2013 SABR Analytics Research Award for Contemporary Analysis. Follow him on Twitter @jeffwzimmerman.

8 Responses to “Cameron Maybin: Has He Finally Found a Home?”

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  1. batpig says:

    “Taking his stats from the second half and projecting them to 600 PA, he would have 100 Runs and 62 SB.”

    it would be great if fantasy (or real) baseball ever worked like that…

    as a good source of SB who won’t murder you in the power numbers, Maybin is a pretty nice piece though. Guys like him who steal only 15 bags are worthless (I’m looking at you Mr. Fowler) because they don’t make up for the huge hit you take in HR/RBI. But if he’s stealing 35-40 bags, then you get a much better fantasy player than a Rajai Davis / Nyjer Morgan type who is going to do even less in HR/RBI.

    I would expect something similar next year — 80-90 runs, 35-40 SB, 8-15 HR, 40-50 RBI. That’s a pretty solid 4th OF.

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    • Jeff Z says:

      I am always looking for players who projections may be off next season. I feel Maybin is one do to the change in position. He is definitely one of those type of players.

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  2. Brent says:

    It has to be mentioned unfortunatelty, his home/road splits are pretty drastic.

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  3. jeffrey gross says:

    petco’s handedness favors Maybin over Marlins stadium.

    “The myth of Petco Park is only a half truth that breeds market inefficiencies. The truth about PETCO is that it notably obliterates left-handed power, suppressing it by about 25 percent. For right-handed hitters, however, Petco’s deflative power effects are substantially less substantial, at 10 percent. While clearly a move from the Great American Ballpark (125 RHB home run index) or Minute Maid Park (114 RHB home run index) to PETCO (96 RHB home run index) might be a disastrous investment for a right-handed batter, the same cannot be said about a move from Sun Life Stadium in Miami, a park with an inferior RHB home run index (92).”

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    • jeffrey gross says:

      Thats not to say that all of maybin’s improvement has been park effect. it has not. However, it underscores a point about the petco myth

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  4. adohaj says:

    If only he could raise his contact rate. His avg would probably spike at least 15 points. A Z-contact % of 84 seems too low for a speedy slap hitter.

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  5. Brandon says:

    I would say that Maybin’s value is with the fact that not only will he be among the league leaders in steals, but he isn’t going to cripple your power numbers.

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