DETROIT -- Cameron Maybin played in a few big-league games last Spring Training. This time, though, he's going to be around for a while.
The Tigers have decided to extend to Maybin an invitation to Major League camp, giving Detroit's top prospect and the former first-round pick a chance to train, work out and play alongside Detroit's veterans while allowing him to take instruction from big-league coaches.
Maybin, drafted 10th overall in the 2005 First-Year Player Draft, already was regarded as Detroit's top position player prospect going into last year's camp before he played a game.
Once Justin Verlander and Joel Zumaya were promoted to the Majors, Maybin rose to the top of Detroit's farm system overall with an impressive first pro season. Maybin batted .304 with nine home runs, 20 doubles and 69 RBIs in 101 games for Class A West Michigan. He also stole 27 bases in 34 attempts and added 50 walks while flashing quality defense in center field. He missed part of the season after stretching a ligament in his right index finger.
Maybin will be 19 years old when he reports to Spring Training in February. He won't turn 20 until April 4.
The invite is expected to be a learning experience for Maybin rather than a chance to make the Tigers roster, which already appears set with at least four outfielders. He's expected to begin the regular season at Class A Lakeland and have an opportunity to climb the developmental ladder later in the year.
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