The San Diego Padres are a lot better than most baseball pundits think. With an inexperienced roster, they finished the 2012 season with a very respectable 76-86 record. Coming into 2013, however, the Padres should have some higher expectations, given the fact they have one of the deepest farm systems baseball. But the Padres won’t go anywhere if they don’t get the production they need out Cameron Maybin.
Coming into the 2012 season, a lot of people–including myself–were very high on the talented centerfielder. In fact, I was so high on Maybin that I included him in my list of top ten centerfielders. It was hard to believe that a player who had a 4.6 fWAR and 105 wRC+ in 2011 would drop two wins and about 15 wRC+ the following year, but thus is life playing in PETCO Park.
Speaking of PETCO Park, the reason why I included Maybin’s wRC+ is due to the fact that it accounts for park adjustments. Maybin’s .716 OPS that he had in 2011 is a little more valuable than a .716 OPS in Coors Field, so it helps put players’ performance in perspective.
But the question that many San Diego fans have to be asking is exactly how good is Cameron Maybin? Is he the player who struggled last season? Or is he the player that broke out in 2011? If the Padres have any chance to compete in the NL West in 2013, they will need Maybin to rebound in a big way.
There isn’t a whole lot of doubt that the potential is there for another breakout season, but the Padres should know who the real Cameron Maybin is by the end of the season.