While the LA Angels only employed him for half of a season, Cameron Maybin was a high-class player, and now he’s proving once again how vital he can be to a championship team.
His short time with the LA Angels has probably been forgotten by most fans. However, I still remember the months of May and June in 2017 where Maybin began to explode as a hitter. He and Mike Trout were dismantling opposing pitchers as a 1-2 punch.
Unfortunately for the Angels (but fortunately for Maybin), they lost Maybin to the Astros on a waiver claim when trading for Justin Upton. Maybin would go on to win a World Series with the Astros that year. He also won everyone in America a free taco from Taco Bell after stealing a base in the World Series, apart of their Steal a Base, Steal a Taco promotion.
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He spent the 2018 season mostly under-the-radar, playing for Seattle and Miami and having a pretty average year at the plate.
During Spring Training this year, it looked as if Maybin had possibly taken a turn for the worse. He was arrested in early March for a DUI while at Spring Training with the San Francisco Giants. After that, his future with the Giants and in baseball seemed murky at best. Eventually, he found his way to the New York Yankees, who has gone through a blizzard of injuries to their roster and needed as much help as possible.
And Cameron Maybin has been reborn in the Bronx.
The story for the Yankees has been seemingly random players consistently stepping up and playing as well as the stars they’re replacing. That’s how Maybin found himself first on the roster, then making a serious impact for the best team in the American League.
Maybin’s average has been hovering around .300 all season, and he is sporting the highest OPS+ of his career. Despite having the ability to play all three spots in the outfield, the Yankees have yet to use him in center. His defense has been solid, but the real story has been his bat.
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His 131 wRC+ on the season is the highest of his career, which proves his offensive outburst this season isn’t simply because he’s playing in Yankee Stadium. Even more interesting, is both his strikeout percentage and walk percentage are noticeably higher than his career norm as well.
The plain and simple answer to his bounce back year is this: Maybin is hitting the ball nearly twice as powerful as he has throughout the rest of his career. Maybin’s isolated power for the season sits at .203. The rest of his career sits at .118 isolated power. For those not accustomed to the stat of isolated power, .140 is about league average, while any player above .200 is considered to be amongst the league’s elite sluggers.
Six months ago, Maybin was a journeyman whose career seemed all but finished up. Now, he’s one of the best hitters on one of the best teams in the entire MLB. When he’s a free agent this offseason, he’ll have more than a handful of suitors, and could find himself chasing his second World Series ring in three years come October.