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2008 Fantasy Baseball Sleeper: Cameron Maybin

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The centerpiece of the package the Florida Marlins received from the Detroit Tigers for 3B Miguel Cabrera and LP Dontrelle Willis was CF Cameron Maybin.  He is a player who projects to be the power and speed combination that fantasy players drool over.

However, he is just 20-years-old and had a very disappointing 49 AB major league stint last season when he "produced" a slash stat line of 143/208/265.  It is the kind of effort that logically leads to the conclusion he was rushed and won't be ready to contribute positively in the 2008 season. (John Sickels of Minor League Ball offers his prospect analysis.)

To illustrate this conventional wisdom being reflected in fantasy terms, Mock Draft Central has his ADP at 297 while being drafted in just 17.8% of the drafts so far.  Over the past two weeks, his ADP has dropped 36.1% further demonstrating the acceptance by the fantasy baseball community that he is not going to be a viable 2008 contributor.

However, I still think he will be a major sleeper in 2008.  The Marlins have effectively given him the CF job by not bringing in any players who can play CF, and, more importantly, the Marlins gave-up two very desirable major leaguers to get him (and LP Andrew Miller!)

I can't help sensing the Marlins see something in Maybin that brings to mind Hanley Ramirez.  Only in  Maybin's case, he had not stagnated under the burden of can't-miss-prospect status as Ramirez was doing when the Red Sox dealt him three off-seasons ago in the Josh Beckett deal.

If my spider sense is correct Maybin could be in for a monster fantasy season in 2008 - 20 HRs and 40 SB!