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2012 Fantasy Baseball Preview: Getting to Know Cameron Maybin

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Cameron Maybin is a guy you can dream on a little. The 24 year old who might be hitting his stride, that you can grab late in the draft and brag about as he continues to blossom under your wise stewardship. After getting traded from the Marlins to the Padres in 2011, Maybin began to make good on some of his unfulfilled hype, putting up a .264/.323/.393 line in 516 ABs with 40 steals, 82 runs, 8 triples and 9 HRs. Projected to bat 3rd in an improved line-up, Maybin could be on the edge of breaking out and reaching the potential he's flashed throughout his career.

Bud Black, whose got the name of a pirate and the thieving heart of one too, managed his team to 170 steals in 2011, the most in the majors. The primary beneficiary of that aggressiveness was Maybin with 40 steals (8 caught), good for a tie for 4th in all of major league baseball. This is the elite skill you draft Maybin for, hoping he carries your team in the category. Projections for his 2012 steals are lower than his 2011 output - fangraphs gives him 36, Bill James 32 - likely due to the addition of power in the Padres order with Carlos Quentin and Yonder Alonso joining the team over the winter.
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If a stronger line-up depresses Maybin's steals potential, it will help his runs production as he crosses the plate more and his power numbers as he sees better pitches in front of some legitimate thump. Expect an increase to the low teens for HRs, similar triples numbers, of which he was top ten in MLB in 2011 and a similar if slightly improved slash line to 2011.

Like most Padres, Maybin's splits in 2011 show he was much stronger away from Hitter's Hell, aka Petco Park, with 7 or his 9 HRs, 5 of his 8 triples and 53 of his 82 runs coming on the road. Luckily for Maybin owners, his steals were basically equal in the split and figure to benefit from the Padres' need to manufacture more runs at home. The other split to give pause from 2011 is Maybin's July in which he had 34 of his 136 hits (25%), driven by a ridiculous .398 BABIP for the month.

The big question on Cameron Maybin is how bullish you want to be on a young guy with an outstanding pedigree - one that previously had him as the centerpiece of a trade for Miguel Cabrera - who seems to have found a good situation in an improved line-up, with a manager who values his elite skill. The optimist will snag Maybin a bit ahead of the ADP of 99, and hope to get something similar to Shane Victorino or Brett Gardner.

Written by Ryan Coombs, exclusively for TheFantasyFix.com.

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Remember to check out our 2012 Fantasy Baseball Draft Guide, with Ranks, Auction Values, Expert Mock Draft and tons of articles. Click here to learn more or purchase.

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