Cameron Maybin: Atlanta Braves’ Starting CF in 2016?


The Atlanta Braves acquired Cameron Maybin and others from the San Diego Padres in a deal that sent Craig Kimbrel and Melvin Upton Jr. cross-country.

In a deal that shocked Braves Country on Opening Day of 2015, the Atlanta Braves shipped star closer Craig Kimbrel and mega-bust Melvin Upton Jr. to the San Diego Padres for Cameron Maybin, Matt Wisler, Jordan Paroubeck, and Carlos Quentin. The Braves opened the 2015 season with Eric Young Jr. as their starting center fielder; however, it was not long until Maybin usurped the aforementioned Young for the starting role.

-= Related: Mallex Smith: Atlanta Braves’ Starting Outfielder in 2016? =-

In 2005, the Detroit Tigers selected Cameron Maybin in the first round (10th overall) out of T.C. Roberson High School in North Carolina. The former first round pick, surprisingly, bounced around a few teams early in his career, playing on three teams in his first five Major League seasons. From 2011 to 2014, Maybin played for the San Diego Padres, but he struggled to stay healthy while with the team. Outside of an impressive debut season with the Padres in 2011, Maybin failed to reach the team’s expectations; thus, the Padres shipped him to Atlanta.

More from ATL All Day

In 2011, Cameron Maybin owned a .264/.323/.393 slash-line, while playing in 137 games for the Padres. He hit nine home runs and stole an impressive 40 bases. Maybin’s debut season likely had the Padres salivating at the mouth over his production. Although he impressed in 2011, Maybin battled through injuries in 2013 and 2014, playing in just 109 total games between the two seasons. Maybin presented a major headache for the Padres, so the team saw him as an expendable player on the roster.

Despite not starting the first few games of the 2015 season, Cameron Maybin put together the best season of his career. Maybin put together a solid first-half to the 2015 season, hitting .289 with eight home runs through his first 80 games with the Atlanta Braves. However, Maybin’s second-half numbers fell off the table. He struggled to maintain his torrid start to the season, and he hit .240 through his final 61 games of the season. Also, Maybin managed to hit only two more home runs over that final stretch.

Cameron Maybin looked to be a potential buy-low, sell-high candidate for the Atlanta Braves due to his strong first-half numbers, but no one bit on the Braves’ offers to deal the former first round pick. Thus, the Braves missed their chance to deal the speedy center fielder. Although Maybin finished the 2015 season on a low note, he managed to compile his best professional season to-date. Maybin produced career-bests in home runs (10), RBI (59), batting average (.267), and OBP (.327).

Notably, Cameron Maybin suffered an eye injury towards the end of the 2015 season, limiting his action over the home-stretch of the season. After the end of the 2015 season, Maybin’s value remains relatively low; thus, the Braves are unlikely to deal the nine-year veteran. If Maybin survives the 2015-2016 offseason without being dealt, likely, he opens the season as the starting center fielder for the Atlanta Braves, leaving right field to Nick Markakis and left field to either Mallex Smith or Michael Bourn.

Cameron Maybin performed well in 2015, leading the Braves’ outfield in production. While an outfield of Maybin, Markakis, and Smith/Bourn is not sexy by any means, they present a nice mix of speed, contact, and defense that helps transition the Braves from a pretender to a contender. In 2016, the Braves’ speed could present problems to opposing teams. Also, if the Braves do not find an option to hit atop the order, look for Maybin to assume the role out of the gate in 2016.

Next: Mike Foltynewicz: Atlanta Braves' Closer for 2016?

Cameron Maybin’s status as a member of the Atlanta Braves remains in flux, but do not be surprised to see him return next season. Despite the Braves missing their chance to sell-high on the once highly-touted prospect, 2016 presents another chance for Maybin to demonstrate what he brings to a team. While Maybin may open the 2015 season as a member of the Braves, there are no guarantees he stays on the team for the duration of the 2016 season. Keep an eye on Maybin’s status this offseason heading into Spring Training.