JUPITER, Fla. -- Cameron Maybin is ready to make his voice heard, whether it is on the field, in the clubhouse or to the media. Willing to speak up, the 30-year-old rang loud and clear in the second inning on Monday in the Marlins' 11-0 win over a split-squad Astros
JUPITER, Fla. -- Cameron Maybin is ready to make his voice heard, whether it is on the field, in the clubhouse or to the media. Willing to speak up, the 30-year-old rang loud and clear in the second inning on Monday in the Marlins' 11-0 win over a split-squad Astros club.
On Tim Federowicz's fly ball to right-center, Maybin took charge, shouting, "I got it! I got it!" for all at Roger Dean Chevrolet Stadium to hear.
With speedy Lewis Brinson charging from center field, Maybin wasn't taking any chances. The play was his, and he handled it easily, while serving a reminder to the young players that executing the most basic fundamentals is important.
Maybin signed with the Marlins last week, and Monday was his first game action. He got the nod in right field, and went hitless in two at-bats. He will be back in the lineup on Tuesday at the Nationals.
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In his second stint with the Marlins, Maybin is taking on a leadership role, and he won't be bashful to express himself.
"In here, we have to create an atmosphere of 'Why not surpise everybody?'" Maybin said. "There's going to be predictions. They are what they are, but you don't play the game on paper. If we can stay healthy, play together, leave the egos outside the door, and play for each other, we can have some fun here. There's a lot of youthful talent. It's fun to be a part of."
It's no secret the Marlins are in the first stage of a building process. They're building from the ground up, and along the way are projected to take their lumps at the big league level.
Maybin joins the Marlins after playing last year for the Angels and Astros. He was in center field for the final out of the World Series, celebrating Houston's first championship.
In celebration photos, Maybin is in the mass of bodies, somewhere.
"You probably just saw some dreadlocks and some feet hanging out of that [pile]," he quipped.
With the Marlins, Maybin's role is as much being a mentor to players like Brinson, Magneuris Sierra, Monte Harrison and Braxton Lee, as it is being a contributor in the lineup.
"For me, I keep saying, there's no reason I feel we have to be bad, why we have to buy into that," Maybin said. "We have players like [Starlin Castro], he's able to bring some things he had done in New York. Me, what we were able to do in Houston."
The Marlins acquired Castro from the Yankees in the Giancarlo Stanton trade. Last October, Maybin and Castro were competing against each other in the American League Championship Series. They're now veterans on a young squad.
For the Marlins to succeed, Maybin notes they have to compete as one.
"We've got to do this together," the 30-year-old said. "We've got a lot of talent, a lot of athleticism, a lot of youth. When you're young, sometimes you may try to do things on your own or by yourself. If we're going to have success this year, we have to do everything together. We have to hold each other accountable, whether it's running bases, whether it's overshooting the cutoff man. Just holding each and every body accountable in here for what we do as a group."
Maybin knows what players like Brinson -- Miami's top prospect and ranked 27th overall in baseball, according to MLB Pipeline -- are going through.
In 2007, Maybin was a 20-year-old prospect with Tigers. Back then, he was a top prospect, but he never developed into an All-Star. Still, he's adapted to different roles and now he is about to enter his 12th season.
"Obviously, he's had enough sustainable success," manager Don Mattingly said. "It's not what people probably thought at the beginning, but that doesn't mean that there's not big years in there. Some guys catch on at a different moment, and then all of a sudden, it takes off. You don't play 11 years without having some sort of success. Either you're really good defensively, or your speed is a tool, you're still hitting enough to get on base. Things like this."
Joe Frisaro has covered the Marlins for MLB.com since 2002. He writes a blog, called The Fish Pond. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro and listen to his podcast.