Cameron Maybin feasting away from Petco Park

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Cameron Maybin isn’t exactly taking to San Diego just yet, but he does appear to be fulfilling his potential with the Padres after coming from the Marlins for a pair of relievers over the winter.

Maybin went 4-for-4 with two homers Friday against the Rockies at Coors Field, giving him five homers and a .273/.348/.453 line this season.  His OPS is 40 points higher than that of the Padres’ second-best regular (the currently DL’d Nick Hundley).

Maybin has been a typical Padre at Petco Park this year, hitting .213/.298/.320 compared to the team’s overall line of .206/.288/.317.   On the road, though, it’s been a different story.   After Friday’s game, he’s batting .344/.408/.609 in 64 at-bats in away games.  He’s driven in 10 runs and scored 16 in 17 games.

Perhaps Maybin won’t maintain his current pace, but it looks like the Padres made a great trade to bring him to town.  Losing Ryan Webb and Edward Mujica in the deal with the Marlins hasn’t hurt the bullpen at all, and Maybin has far more offensive upside than last year’s center fielder, Tony Gwynn Jr.  Maybin is just 24, and while he’s always struck out a ton, he has plenty of power, he’ll take a walk and he’s an asset on the basepaths.  Defensively, he’s a notch below the elite, but he’s above average in center field.  The talent is there for him to go to All-Star Games in his prime.

Justin Turner is a postseason monster

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A not-insignificant amount of the Dodgers’ success in recent years has to do with the emergence of Justin Turner. In his first five seasons with the Orioles and Mets, he was a forgettable infielder who had versatility, but no power. The Mets non-tendered him after the 2013 season, a move they now really regret.

In four regular seasons since, as a Dodger, Turner has hit an aggregate .303/.378/.502. His 162-game averages over those four seasons: 23 home runs, 36 doubles, 83 RBI, 80 runs scored. And he’s also a pretty good third baseman, it turns out. The Dodgers have averaged 95 wins per season over the past four years.

Turner, 32, has gotten better and better with each passing year. This year, he drew more walks (59) than strikeouts (56), a club only five other players (min. 300 PA) belonged to, and he trailed only Joey Votto (1.61) in BB/K ratio (1.05). He zoomed past his previous career-high in OPS, finishing at .945. His .415 on-base percentage was fourth-best in baseball. His batting average was fifth-best and only nine points behind NL batting champion Charlie Blackmon.

It doesn’t seem possible, but Turner has been even better in the postseason. He exemplified that with his walk-off home run to win Game 2 of the NLCS against the Cubs. Overall, entering Wednesday night’s action, he was batting .363/.474/.613 in 97 postseason plate appearances. In Game 4, he went 2-for-2 with two walks, a single, and a solo home run. That increases his postseason slash line to .378/.495/.659, now across 101 plate appearances. That’s a 1.154 OPS. The career-high regular season OPS for future first-ballot Hall of Famer Albert Pujols was 1.114 in 2008, when he won his third career MVP Award. Statistically, in the postseason, Turner hits slightly better than Pujols did in the prime of his career. Of course, we should adjust for leagues and parks and all that, but to even be in that neighborhood is incredible.

In the age of stats, the concept of “clutch” has rightfully eroded. We don’t really allow players to ascend to godlike levels anymore like the way we did Derek Jeter, for instance. (Jeter’s career OPS in the playoffs, by the way, was a comparatively pitiful .838.) Turner isn’t clutch; he’s just a damn good hitter whose careful approach at the plate has allowed him to shine in the postseason and the Dodgers can’t imagine life without him.