In December, 2007, the Marlins and Tigers made a blockbuster trade that sent pitcher Dontrelle Willis and Miguel Cabrera to the Tigers. In return, the Marlins picked up Cameron Maybin–a young centerfielder with a ton of talent and potential.
Maybin, just 21-years-old, will get his chance to show what he can do this season as he will likely take over the leadoff position where Hanley Ramirez has performed brilliantly for the past three seasons. Ramirez will drop down to hit in the three hole.
Maybin was the tenth overall pick by Detroit in the 2005 draft. He’s 6′ 4″, 205 pounds, and has big time speed. He was the Tigers’ minor league player of the year in 2006.
Last year was not Maybin’s best. He was bit by a spider and got a serious face infection that limited him to 108 games at Double-A Carolina. His average was just .277 with 13 homers during his minor league season. A September call-up to Florida, however, gave him new found confidence as he hit .500 (16-32) in eight games. Maybin also swiped four bases in just eight games.
Maybin looks forward to the opportunity to lead off. “We have a lot of big boppers behind me,” said the young center fielder.
One of those big boppers is Hanley Ramirez. Ramirez, however, has shown that he is more comfortable hitting leadoff as well. Last year, Ramirez hit .304 with 32 homers, 63 RBI, and 31 stolen bases in 135 games as the leadoff hitter. Ramirez had 56 at bats as the # 3 hitter and averaged just .268 with one homer, four RBI, and four steals when in the three spot.
The brightest part of Maybin’s game is definitely his speed, but Maybin believes he has more to offer than his wheels. “People have seen the speed and defense,” said Maybin, “but I’m definitely looking to show off the power a little bit this year.”
Hopefully for the Marlins, manager Fredi Gonzalez will be able to keep that thought in check with the young outfielder.