The Tigers are going to recall top hitting prospect Cameron Maybin and designate LF Craig Monroe for assignment. This is quite a surprise. Not because Monroe had been doing well, he wasn't, but because Maybin has so little minor league exeperience. This is his second season, and he has just 20 AA ABs.
For the year, Maybin has hit very well for his age - 316/409/523. This followed a 304/387/457 in his first season. Those stats support the judgment that Maybin is amongst the best minor league hitting prospects.
Additionally, he has 14 HR and 25 SB this year in 323 ABs compared to last year's 9/27 in 385 ABs. Those stats say he could contribute in those counting categories right away. The area of concern is his strikouts.
In 2006 against Low A competition, he struck out 116 times in 385 ABs with 50 bases-on-balls (69.9% contact rate). This year against mostly High-A pitchers, he has struck out 91 times in 323 ABs with 51 BBs (71.8% CR.) With those K totals, I do not expect Maybin to be a contributor in AVG for the 2007 season - assuming the Tigers play him full-tme for the rest of the year.
Compare him with another second-year hitting prodigy, Justin Upton. Upton received 259 AA ABs and hit 13 HRs with slashstats of 309/399/566. He was recalled on August 2nd, and, in his first three starts, went 7-12 with 5 XBHs and kept the fantasy tongues wagging.
Since, he has a less impressive 5 hits in 27 ABs with two triples. He has also struck out 12 times overall and drawn just four walks. He had 79 Ks with 56 BBs in 385 minor league ABs prior to being recalled.
Can Maybin do better than Upton in spite of worse minor league contact rates (79.5% versus 71.8%)? Probably not.
Update [2007-8-17 16:32:17 by Eric Hz]: From the comments in Rob Neyer's ESPN Blog: