Projecting the top rookies

When our PECOTA projections were released earlier this month, BP analyst Jay Jaffe took a look at the National League East and noted that the system smiled on Marlins outfielder Cameron Maybin. This shouldn't be a huge surprise to anyone, as Maybin has been at the top of prospect lists since his selection in the first round of the 2005 draft, and he was one of the big prospect prizes in the trade that sent Miguel Cabrera and Dontrelle Willis to Detroit.

There are few players anywhere in the minors who can match Maybin on a pure tools level, as he combines power, blazing speed and a cannon for an arm. At the same time, his strikeout rate has always been a cause for concern, as his long, all-arms-and-legs swing can tie him up in knots against good breaking balls. Still, with Maybin projected for a 23.5 VORP (Value Over Replacement Player) as a center fielder, he's on the short list of this year's top rookies.