Wednesday, August 02, 2006

What is not to understand about Maybin?

Throughout the frenzy surrounding the trade deadline, the one thing I did not get was the number of fans who honestly thought the Tigers should have traded prospect Cameron Maybin to the Washington Nationals for Alfonso Soriano. Dave Dombrowski passed on the deal. There is not a general manager in baseball who would not have done the same thing. Even the Yankees, under the circumstances, would not have parted with Maybin. What Maybin is doing at his age in the Midwest League is extraordinary. He is leading the league in hitting and on-base percentage. He is among the top 10 in steals and RBI despite having less than 300 at bats because a fluky index finger injury set him back for awhile earlier in the season. Most kids are in the Gulf Coast League at that age. He is one of the youngest players in Class A ball - and perhaps the best player. He has five-tool potential. Before the "Moneyball" era, he probably would have been the first overall pick in the draft. The only reason he w as not is because he had the leverage of college baseball, and there were signability concerns. He is like Derek Jeter and A-Rod at the same age. He is easily the best position player prospect the Tigers have had since the nucleus of their �84 world title team. And if he stays healthy, he will push his way through the farm system quickly. The idea, even if he pans out, he will be no better than Soriano does not hold water from the standpoint the Tigers control the rights to Maybin for six years in the major leagues. They would have had to sign Soriano to a long-term deal for at least $15 million per season next year. And by the end of the deal, he will be slowing down just as Maybin starts to hit full-stride. I expect Baseball America will name him one of the best prospects in baseball - maybe No. 1 - the next time they do a list. The idea there is no such player as a sure-thing prospect is valid, but Maybin�s talent and demeanor (he is a solid kid) minimize the risk. He is the most valuable commodity the Tigers have - on par with Justin Verlander and Joel Zumaya. And that is not just my theory. That is something anyone in organized baseball would say.

Random thoughts

- The Red Wings� obsession with older goalies is disturbing enough, but Dominik Hasek? The guy left the Wings holding the bag not once, but twice. What happened last season when Ottawa depended on him? The Senators got burned.

- You know it is a magical season when you call up a corner outfielder who was hitting .224 in Double-A ball, place him in center field and he starts hitting and fielding like Willie Mays. Brent Clevlen has looked that good the past few nights, but do not expect that to last.

- The Lions term that Pro Bowl defensive tackle Shaun Rogers is week-to-week with a shoulder strain is laughable. A word to the wise: Do not trust much the Lions say these days about injuries. It would not surprise me a bit if Rogers injury is more severe than they are letting on.

10 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Maybin: Good to see the farm producing at last. I often wondered how Mtl Expos farm system was so successful and the Tigers not. Clevelen: The word about his weakness at the plate is probably circulating already. Good arm seems comfortable playing the outfield. Thames: I wonder what he is thinking. I hope Mr. Thames gets back on track. Vinny

8:13 AM 
Blogger ThinkingMan said...

Pat,

Excellent thoughts about Maybin. The only way the Tigers are going to stay good for a prolonged period is to develop guys like Maybin, Verlander and Zumaya. I was so happy the Tigers didn't trade away an "A" list prospects.

I have to agree with you, too, about your commentary on the overall strength about the Tigers' farm system. It's not that deep beyond Maybin and a few good arms. I know about Wilkin Rameriz at 3B, Pat, but do we have any SS or 2B propects of note (Tony G is probably a reserve-type player at best)?

Have the Tigers said anything about their efforts to sign Andrew Miller. They need to get him signed and get him to the Fall League.

Thanks!

8:32 AM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

vinny,
a long time ago, i used to hear sparky anderson talk all the time about a player finding his level. and it has proven to be so true down through the years. we saw it with chris shelton earlier this season. we're seeing it now with marcus thames. there is a reason he was in the minor leagues all those years. sometimes a player will have a real good stretch, maybe even an entire season, that is away from their level. but usually they will revert. it works the other way, too. dmitri young is an example. as for clevlan, we don't what that level is. he's a kid who is in the major leagues before his time. yet logic dictates he will struggle if overexposed to major league pitching. you don't hit .224 at double-a and light it up in the major leagues. but he might get hot for awhile and leyland will ride him while he is playing well. he did the same with thames, but you will see his at bats reduced grandually unless he comes out of it quickly.
vinny

11:07 AM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

thinkingman,
i have not talked to the tigers lately about what is happening with miller, but it is getting to the point where both sides will want to get things done. they do want him in the instructional league in lakeland, but if he signs later, they will start working with him in lakeland over the winter the way they did with verlander. i have a feeling this will be a testy negotiation. he has hardball agents who tried to manipulate the draft process.
caputo

11:11 AM 
Blogger maddog52 said...

Maybin. I never wanted to see him go. Heck i never wanted to see any of our prospects go. I jsut wanted to see Shelton go work on his swing and get another fistbaseman consistent type hitter in and I think we adjusted those issues.

Verlander has to go into the front of the line when it comes to R.O.Y at this point. He is currently the best pitcher in baseball and his stats have been lights out. Though yesterday could have been rough, but he should why he is good. Personally he should be in C.Y. talk.

Clevelen yeah he is off to a good start, but I wouldn't jump the gun yet. To me you have to look over a course of time before you can make any judgement. Verlander and Zumya have proven they are the real deal. They have been there all year. I'd like to see the tigers improve slowly. Like next year add the Maybin and Sanchez, maybe another guy to add to the bull pen or something. I mean if those guys can come in and do there thing like the other rookies have this year.. bottom line is I am tired of these fans. Heck I was thinking last night about when we traded for guillen. HE was projected as a number 9 guy in our lineup. Look where he is now. My mind has been one of the top 2 S.S. in the American League and our MVP.

Hasek what a joke. I agree Caputo with your logic on this. To me there is no benefit of going with a 41 year old hasek or allowing howard to have a shot for the first couple of months. see how he does. If he totally stinks then go get a hasek because I am willing to be he would still be on the market.

12:25 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

RE: Clevlin: I hear ya. Years ago (before your time) the tigers got a fist baseman i think his name was George Vico. Had a good year as i remember it then went into the tank. He would stretch out to get the throw to first base. Hence (The Vico Stretch) He sure looked good for a time like many others. Vinny

12:58 PM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

maddog52,
what some didn't get about maybin is that he is a whole different level removed from somebody like sanchez. sanchez is a really good prospect. he might even be a front end of the rotation pitcher someday. he is the tigers best pitching prospect. but maybin is a cut above that. he is to position players what verlander is to pitchers. like i said, there isn't a general manager that would have traded him under the circumstances.
caputo

1:08 PM 
Blogger maddog52 said...

I have agreed with everything you said thus far about the Tigers. And I don't argue with what you are saying about Maybin. I am hoping that next year him and sanchez can come into the team next year. and be fit right in like Verlander/Zumya/Granderson.

9:49 PM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

maddog52,
it might be a stretch getting maybin to the major leagues that soon, but it is my understanding he will be moving quickly. they will likely start him at Class A Lakeland next season and move him to Erie if he does well about mid-season. From there, he will start getting looks as a potential major leaguer. as for sanchez, he was ready this season during the first half. most years, he would have been called up in june. he has a tender elbow now and his mechanics are of whack, but he should be fine in the near future and pitch in the major leagues sometime in september.
caputo

10:25 AM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Pat;
This is scary. I do not very often agree with your opinions. BUT, this time you are right on about Maybin and Zumaya!

I think Zumaya would be a great addition to the starting staff. The Tigers have some good arms in the minors that could take over the role of rally killer. Perhaps Kevin Whelan will be ready next year.

And like Dombrowski said, I would not have traded Maybin for Soriano straight up. Heck forget the 84 team, I hope I am not exaggerating, but Maybin, I think, is our best prospect since Al Kaline!

8:13 AM 

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