Fantasy Toss Up: Cameron Maybin vs. Justin Upton

Thursday, February 26, 2009


You're tired of the boring everyday outfielders like Raul Ibanez and Pat the Bat, you want to spice it up in the later rounds with young potential. So who do you go with Justin Upton heading up his sophomore campaign or Cameron Maybin starting up his official rookie season?

The Fantasy Rankings

CBS has Upton at 223 and Maybin at 248.
Yahoo Big Board mentions neither.
ESPN has Upton at 117 and Maybin at 174.

The rankings are all in Upton's favor which is to be expected. Both are terrific prospects and both have been hyped for a long time, but Upton has always been the cream of the crop.

Projections

Justin Upton: .263, 22 HRs, 6 SBs, 79 Rs, 68 RBIs
Cameron Maybin: .276, 16 HRs, 32 SBs, 86 Rs, 58 RBIs

The major difference between the two in the projections is Maybin's assendance to the leadoff role and his spead. These set of projections are the top of the top for Maybin this season, but if he were ever to put these numbers together he would be an absolute steal. As for Upton, the projections are probably fair, but he did have 19 steals one year in the minors so there is hope that he will run more.

Surrounding Lineup

Neither player will have an abundance of studs surrounding them no matter where they hit in the lineup. The Marlins have Hanley Ramirez and then everyone else. Sure Dan Uggla has pop, but he's still not a great hitter. The Diamondbacks have Mike Cameron light in Chris B. Young, a mid-tier first baseman in Conor Jackson, high flyin Eric Byrnes, etc. Essentially they have a bunch of slop.

Question Marks

Being that these two players are both 21 years old, there's a ton of questionmarks. First are they overhyped? Second, with no MLB track record are you going to end up paying for mediocre stats. Cameron Maybin could potentially be awful in spring training and not even make the roster. Basically drafting a 21 year old is as risky as you're going to get in a draft.

The Verdict

The Verdict is highly dependent on spring training and their spot in the lineup. If you're draft is right now than you have to go with Upton on the basis that he has a secured spot in the lineup even though he is likely to bat at the tail end. Come the end of March if Maybin is slotted as the Marlins lead off go than I think you have to go with him. The Diamondbacks do not have a Hanley Ramirez on their roster, so the prospect of Maybin hitting in front of Ramirez is an option not on the table for Upton. Finally, batting leadoff would give Maybin the green light on the basepaths. If you can get double digit homers, 30+ steals and around 90 runs than you essentially have Shane Victorino from the past two years, which is a solid thing to have as your 4th or 5th outfielder as can be seen by my trophy collection.

Posted by Simon at 3:35 PM   Digg! submit to reddit BallHype: hype it up!

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