WHEN ASKED whatkind of future he envisions for Maybin, Marlins president Larry Beinfest isn'tshy. "We think he can be like Hanley [Ramirez]," he says, referring toFlorida's star shortstop. "Great athleticism. Tremendous speed. And like ithas for Hanley, the power will come." Obtained in the eight-player dealthat sent Miguel Cabrera and Dontrelle Willis to Detroit in December, the6'4", 205-pound Maybin was shocked when he heard the news that he'd beentraded. "I just shut off my phone," he says. "But the more Ithought about it, I realized in Detroit I would be bouncing around. Here, Ihave a chance to do something special right away."
Last year theTigers rushed him to Detroit in his second pro season, but after homering offRoger Clemens at Yankee Stadium in his second major league game last August,Maybin had just five hits and struck out 19 times in 43 at bats. This springMaybin, who will turn 21 in April and still wears braces, has been slowed by atight left hamstring and on Monday was sent down to Double A, but he has shownimpressive flashes when he has played. In one two-game stretch against theCardinals and the Nationals in mid-March, he hit three homers. "Getting ataste of the majors last year was huge," says Maybin. "Now I know Ibelong there."
Photograph by WALTER IOOSS JR.