Maybe Maybin? Yes.

The ultra toolsy Cameron Maybin has always had very high expectations. You really can’t blame them as the former 2005 first round draft picks first two MLB hits, including a home run, came as a 20 year old off of Roger Clemens in late 2007. He was also the key to the blockbuster deal that the Marlins and Tigers pulled off at the 2007 winter meetings when Miguel Cabrera was shipped off to Motown. Baseball America ranked Maybin as the number one prospect in the organization over the past three seasons (including 2007 in Detroit).

Maybin’s tools and athleticism have had fantasy owners eagerly awaiting on the sidelines until they translated into performance at the big league level. Maybin was given the opportunity to man center field for the Fish at the outset of 2009 and he struggled mightily in 84 at-bats in April and May. In those 84 at-bats he hit .202/.280/.310 and struck out at an ugly 37% clip. Strikeouts have been the one main concern about Maybin in the scouting reports.

He was demoted to Triple-A New Orleans in May and put everything together over the next 82 games and 298 at-bats despite playing with a partially torn labrum that bothered him over the second half of the season. In New Orleans Maybin raked to the tune of .319/.399/.463 which is good for a .387 wOBA. A .388 BABIP padded his slash stats but most importantly Maybin cut down on the strikeouts and only struck out 20% of the time in Triple-A.

These improvements earned him a September call up and he played regularly to close out the season with the big league team. Over 78 at-bats Maybin hit .282/.352/.487 with three home runs and he stayed away from strike three. Maybin’s strikeout rate over the month, though a small sample size, stuck at 23% in the big leagues and he walked nine times.

Maybin will be 23 years old when the 2010 season starts and he’s expected to be the Marlins starting center fielder on opening day barring something catastrophic. He recently underwent surgery on his labrum and is expected to be 100% this Spring. Maybin will be a sleeper on draft day and should be good for 15-20 steals and a good source of hits and batting average. Drafters will likely be hesitant to nab him due to his unappetizing overall 2009 big league stats but Maybin improved his strikeout rate and plate recognition over the course of last season. It’s all systems go for Maybin and he’s a giant sleeper that could be had late on draft day.

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Dan is a Sports Marketing major at Duquesne University and most recently interned with Baseball America. He also spent parts of two seasons as an intern with the Washington Nationals. He aspires to work in a baseball operations department and can be reached at

10 Responses to “Maybe Maybin? Yes.”

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  1. Anthony says:

    Melky or Maybin for next years fantasy draft?

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  2. Choo says:

    That’s not a decision you should have to make for a few months, but I have a difficult time picturing the Yankees with an opening day outfield of Melky – Gardner – Swisher, and an even harder time envisioning some sort of LF/CF triumvirate that includes Austin Jackson. If the Yankees have the opportunity to upgrade LF offensively, they probably will. That leaves Melky in a CF battle with Gardner and I’m not sure either guy is capable of winning the job outright, although Gardner’s defense/speed combo gives him the advantage if they choose to go that route.

    So in short, if you had to choose today: Maybin.

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  3. Dan Budreika says:

    Choo hit this one right on the button. Today it would be Maybin…but remember this guy can be had late in drafts. No need to pop him early.

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  4. MDS says:

    uggggh not so sure about that solid source of batting avg

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  5. Anthony says:

    Yeah, I’m just speculating a late round toss-up, and I do agree with you Choo.

    Now assuming Coghlan stays in the leadoff spot, do you think Maybin possibly has a shot at the 2 hole? I know he’s got the speed, but Bonifacio has better bat control, better bunter. It’ll be interesting, I’m curious to see how that plays out.

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    • Boxkutter says:

      I’m not so sure Coghlan stays in lead-off position. I’ve seen Coghlan as a “faster but less powerful” Pedroia for a couple years now, and I believe his long term spot in the batting order is in the 2-hole. I think he was in the lead-off spot last season more by default than anything else. I’d expect Maybin to be given a shot to lead-off in 2010, but if he flounders, Coghlan will likely be right back there. Hopefully as a 2B and not a LF as well.

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  6. Anthony says:

    I like the last thing you mentioned (Coghlan at 2B). Rumors are still floating around about Uggla getting traded. And now it looks like San Francisco might be more of an option after recently hearing that they’d be comfortable shifting Freddy Sanchez to 3B. Then Sandoval moved over to 1B? (Sorry to get off topic here, just fantasizing the possibilities :)

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  7. Tony says:

    Albuquerque is no longer the Triple A affiliate of the Marlins. Haven’t been for a couple of years now…

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  8. Dan Budreika says:

    Good catch. Not sure how the affiliate switch slipped my mind.

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