Best Marlins Player (2008)

Cameron Maybin

Trading Miguel Cabrera and Dontrelle Willis for pitcher Andrew Miller and centerfielder Cameron Maybin was vintage Marlins stuff. Unload the guys we love for twerps. Dump the present for the future. Hit us fans in the stomach. Hard.

But hold on a minute! The generation of Marlins who will stay here — at least for a bit — might have finally arrived. The Marlins will be revving up to move into the new Marlins Stadium (planned for 2011) just as these two guys are hitting their strides.

Maybin is a phenom. As a friggin' high school freshman, he led his North Carolina team to a state title and was named most valuable player. He was honored in 2004 as the Baseball America youth player of the year and has labored in the minors for a couple of seasons. In his second major-league game last year, he hit a homer off Roger "Liar, Liar" Clemens.

This spring, the 21-year-old was competent, but not striking, batting just under .300. He pulled a hamstring, which hampered his speed. And he faced reasonably strong competition for a starting spot.

Upshot: He'll likely get time to develop — both in the minors or on the bench. And that's just fine. Because it means the guy will come online as the Marlins prepare for a third World Series victory.


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