Why Cameron Maybin, Padres matter 

July, 22, 2011
Perhaps you're like me and can't wait to see what San Diego Padres outfielder Cameron Maybin is going to do next. When he plays well, like he and many of his teammates did in this week's sweep of the Florida Marlins, you think he's going to be a future star. And then a few days later, when he's flailing away at every off-speed pitch that bounces up there, we all question ourselves. The fact is that Maybin and quite a few other Padres have stepped up their play over the past few weeks, and as a result, I thought I'd play soothsayer and check in with this bunch. Hey, let's face it, the Padres do matter. We do pay lots of attention to the West Coast. Petco Park is a beautiful place. And I can't get enough of the movie "Anchorman."

Let's start with Maybin, because he appears to be the "hot" Padre for fantasy purposes of late. Then we'll discuss a few other Padres. A week ago, Maybin, an inconsistent 24-year-old tantalizing us when he makes contact, was hitting .262 with 12 stolen bases in 75 games. Maybin might have future seasons with 20 home runs and 40 steals in him. He reminds me of a young Mike Cameron.

[+] EnlargeCameron Maybin
Christopher Hanewinckel/US PresswireCameron Maybin has hit .412 since the All-Star break, with seven steals in seven games.
However -- and there always seems to be a however -- we're talking about this year. A fancy series in South Florida, with nine hits in 15 at-bats, five runs scored and five stolen bases, shouldn't fool us. It's not the beginning of some Matt Kemp-like emergence. Maybin sports a .353 BABIP, and it's .397 in July (after .375 in June). He has walked 14 times since May 1 (with 50 whiffs). His OPS at beautiful Petco Park is a brutal .615, and, unfortunately, he is headed there next week. By 2013, Maybin should be a valuable fantasy player. Today, he's going to drive you nuts, except for the random stolen bases.