If you ask Fantasy Baseball owners about Cameron Maybin, they will likely utter the word disappointment at some point during their response. The Angels outfielder has teased us many times and usually winds up letting us down, mostly due to injuries.
As this season has shown, it’s best to have convenient amnesia. Forget about the last several seasons. If you held on to everything that happened, you missed out on Justin Smoak, Yonder Alonso, and Logan Morrison.
I assumed Maybin was owned in the majority of leagues but when I checked my home league on CBSsports.com, I was stunned to see Maybin at only 58 percent owned. How is that number so low? He should be owned in all leagues.
Even in points formats where the steals are usually worth less, Maybin still has value. The 30-year-old was selected with the 10th overall pick in 2005 by the Tigers and was in the majors two seasons later. He hasn’t delivered most times, but he what’s important is that he is delivering now. Maybin is batting .276 with 43 runs, five home runs, 16 RBIs, 21 stolen bases and an .811 OPS. He has a .382 on-base percentage and has been hitting in the leadoff spot. He has been doing it the last few weeks without Mike Trout, who could return around the All-Star break. When Trout returns, Maybin’s run total will improve even more.
In his tenth season, the veteran has become more patient at the plate with a 14.3 percent walk rate and like he has during his career, he’s efficient on the base paths. He has been caught stealing just once and is 152-for-189 in his career. Maybin won’t hit for much power since he hits the ball on the ground often and has a 26 percent fly ball rate. However, he has a 30.2 percent hard hit rate, which is his highest mark since 2012.
Maybin is valuable for the steals alone. Only four players have topped 20 stolen bases in baseball this season. The other three are Billy Hamilton, Trea Turner and Dee Gordon. They were all really expensive in drafts while Maybin was a waiver wire add and is still sitting there, waiting to be added in some leagues.
He is getting on base — Maybin has a .380 on-base percentage over the last two seasons — and he will continue to run. There’s always the risk of injury and he’s already had one DL stint, but you can’t worry about it at this point.
The stolen bases aren’t a surprise. He had 40 in 2011, 26 in 2012, 23 in 2015 and 15 in 94 games last season. The 21 this season are in only 55 games. He’s not hurting a Fantasy team’s batting average, he is an asset in on-base percentage leagues and helping in runs. Maybin isn’t going to help much in home runs and RBIs, but with so much power in baseball, you can find a way to cover it.
Maybin showed improvements last season, but it wasn’t talked about much and even now, people are taking too long to realize the worth of the veteran outfielder in Fantasy Baseball.
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