Maybin's renewed approach

From opening day center fielder, to spending most of the season at Triple-A New Orleans.

Cameron Maybin certainly has experienced his share of ups and downs this year. The way the talented 22-year-old from Asheville, N.C., is approaching September is to chip in whenever called upon.

“Whenever I get the call, I’ll try to come in and help out,” Maybin said. “Guys have been playing great all year. My biggest objective is to come in and help out when I can. Whether it’s coming off the bench running, pinch-hitting or getting a start.”

Maybin started in center field on Thursday night against the Braves. He made an impact hitting second behind Chris Coghlan. He had two doubles and drove in Florida’s first run in an 8-3 win.

The year didn’t go as planned for Maybin, who remains a highly-touted prospect.

Obtained from the Tigers as part of the Dontrelle Willis/Miguel Cabrera trade in 2007, Maybin is regarded as Florida’s center fielder of the future. What often is overlooked is the fact he is just 22-years-old, and all players develop at their own pace.

So after a rough start, Maybin was optioned to New Orleans in May. He was brought back on Aug. 31, and he likely will get some starts in the outfield, especially with Jeremy Hermida resting a right rib muscle ailment.

Maybin enjoyed a strong season at New Orleans, batting .319 with 18 doubles, eight triples, three home runs and 39 RBIs. Perhaps most telling is the fact he reduced his strikeouts, fanning 58 times in 298 at-bats, and he drew 38 walks. He had an impressive .399 on-base percentage.

“It’s a situation where you can go down and pout, and bury yourself in a bigger hole than you already are, or you can become a competitor and try to turn things around,” Maybin said. “My mindset is always to try to turn things around, and get the best out of any situation. I felt I did that this year. This game is a big test of character. I’ve always been able to bounce back from being down. You’ve got to be able to handle ups and downs.”

At the plate, Maybin used the season to get back to basics.

“For the most part, I was just getting back to the things that I had always done,” he said. “Using my legs when I hit. I was standing kind of straight up and it wasn’t working for me. Also I was just getting back the confidence that I’ve always had in myself. I think whenever I’m confident and relaxed, I can put good at-bats together.”

— Joe Frisaro


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