Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Broad appeal

The Padres and their fans aren't the only ones excited by Cameron Maybin's breakthrough season.

 Visiting broadcasters tell their listeners it's fun to see Maybin glide across the outfield or zoom on the basespaths.

Even opponents like how the 24-year-old flavors up a ballgame with his super-athleticism.

"I'm happy for him," Giants outfielder Cody Ross told this blog. "He deserves it. He works hard, he's a good kid and he plays the game the right way. I like seeing guys like that succeed."

Ross and Maybin were teammates with the Marlins. When the Marlins sold Ross to the Giants in August 2010, Maybin took over in center field.

Count Ross among those who believe Maybin needed a change of scenery, which Jed Hoyer arranged last November by bringing him to the Padres for two relievers.

"The Marlins can say they gave him an opportunity to play," Ross said, "but, looking back, they put a lot of pressure on him. That happens. They traded a lot to get him. They wanted him to perform and they wanted him to be the type of player that they sought after.

"It just never really worked out there for him," Ross said. "Maybe he put too much pressure on himself. A big move for him for his career was to come over here and just release some of that pressure of being the guy they traded Miguel Cabrera for -- just get away from all of that.

"He came over here and played his game and let his God-given ability take over," Ross said.

Maybin has said he did, in fact, benefit from knowing the Padres would stick with him through lean times.

A veteran scout saw a related change in Maybin in spring training, and talked about it here in the Pink Pony Scouts Chat.

"Maybin, I saw a little more confidence in him," the scout said in late March. "I think he knows the spot is his and he's going to get his 500 at-bats. He looked a little more confident in his jumps. He's good east-west. But he really has trouble breaking back and in. At the plate, he doesn't recognize spin. But, you never know how he's going to be until he gets a chance to play every day."

Word from Yahoo's Tim Brown that the Padres and Maybin have mutual interest in a multi-year contract makes sense, given how Maybin responded this year to the security of knowing the job was his for the whole season.

The Padres, we're hearing, also like that Maybin cares about more than his own career. He wants to be a leader for them.

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