For those of you that missed it, Cameron Maybin jacked his first walk-off homer last night to win the series against the DBacks, and bail out an offense that yet again left Shelby Miller hanging like a side of a beef in a meat locker. I debated with one of my friends what award we should give Shelby for getting absolutely no help from the offense. Perhaps the AT&T Award since his support is absolutely wretched.
Anyway, Cameron Maybin hits well in key spots. People in the stats world don't believe in clutch players since they say everything evens out. I agree that things even out, but I also believe in the temporary psychology of clutch. Anybody that's ever played a sport knows what it's like to have intense pressure, and have certain players you can rely on to perform in those spots. Cameron Maybin is one of those players who has risen up in big spots this season. Here's why:
Total 2015: .277 avg with .397 slugging, 9 homers, 51 RBIs
2015 RISP: .380 avg with .500 slugging, 1 homer, 42 RBIs
2015 RISP, 2 outs: .361 avg with .528 slugging, 0 homers, 14 RBs
The dude is really coming out of his shoes this season when he's getting RISP chances. What's crazy is that for the last 3 years going into this season? He was terrible in those same scenarios. He's riding what the stat-heads would call an outlier in his career. And I would actually agree with them on that count. Nobody hits almost 100 points better on their average with RISP long term. It's a complete anomaly.
So why does it matter to recognize that fact? Because at some point, Cameron is going to come back down to earth when the Braves likely decide it's time to resign him or not. And what you need to remember when that time comes is that Cameron is a career .250 hitter. Day to day he's going to struggle to be part of the Braves long term play when 2017 hits. In essence, as much as I like the guy, he's likely not someone who will be a Braves player for several years to come.
But the good news is that we get him through 2016, and possibly 2017 with a club option. If he continues to stay hot he might have some major trade value in the offseason for some more hitting help on the team or heaven help us more bullpen options. Remember the lesson of Chris Johnson. If you think it's an outlier, you sell high. Always sell high.