Friday, March 13, 2009
Being a Marlins fan comes with some unique baggage, chiefly the knowledge that most (if not all) of your favorite Marlins will one day be traded away to another team for younger, cheaper prospects. Though the signing of Hanley Ramirez to a multi-year contract last year broke a long streak of talented fan favorites (Cabrera, Beckett, etc.) leaving for greener pastures, we at Marlins Die-Hards do not believe for a second that the Marlins are on the verge of abandoning their thrifty (albeit successful) system of player development. With that in mind, we present a new feature, Future Former Marlins, in which we take a look at some of the promising talent in the pipeline, and speculate on the future of some of the team's prospects. We begin with the crown jewel of the Marlins farm system, Cameron Maybin.
Cameron Maybin, CF
Acquired: from Detroit on 12/5/2007 in the Cabrera/Willis trade. Florida may have fleeced Detroit this time, as Andrew Miller (the other major piece of the trade) has thus far outperformed Dontrelle, and Maybin could eventually outdo the rapidly-super-sizing Cabrera.
Will he live up to the hype? Maybin batted an even .500 (16 for 32) in September call-up action in 2008, and posted an OPS+ of 193 (in an admittedly infinitesimal sample size). He has pretty much locked up the starting CF position and looks like he'll be hitting leadoff, so he's off to the right start. Judging from pure intuition (WARNING: Intuition Bad), I think we'll be glad the Fish gave up Cabrera for him.
How long do we have him? He is technically a rookie this year, so we've got at least five years before he is eligible for free agency (I have no idea how free agency works for players still under their first contract - maybe you could leave an explanation in the comments for me...). If he proves to be as valuable as everyone thinks he is, and if the Marlins actually get that stadium, then he may be offered a long-term contract like Hanley was last year. Keep your fingers crossed.
Future Reason for Leaving the Marlins: Besides becoming too expensive? Maybe he'll become a fat load like Cabrera (which I guess would be fitting), in which case the Marlins would trade him to the Yankees in 2012, where this guy will show him all the best eateries in Manhattan.
Image via mlb.com