Perhaps “at last” is a skosh strong. After all, Cameron Maybin is still just 24. But as Jerry Crasnick writes today, in San Diego the former Tigers top pick is starting to reach the level of performance Detroit (and the Marlins) had expected:

… Maybin is Exhibit A of the wonders that result from talent colliding with opportunity. After more ups and downs than your average debt-ceiling negotiations, he’s found a home as San Diego’s resident leadoff hitter, fly chaser and catalyst.

(snip)

Maybin, acquired by the Padres from Florida in November in a trade for relievers Ryan Webb and Edward Mujica, got the 2011 season off to a rousing start with a home run and a diving catch in St. Louis on Opening Day. Given the green light to steal by Padres manager Bud Black, he’s succeeded on 26 of 28 attempts. And his monthly batting averages — .247 in April, .263 in May, .288 in June and .315 in July — are testament to his personal growth.

(snip)

“This is the first time in two or three seasons where I’ve felt comfortable,” Maybin said. “I’m not worried about the consequences of going out there and trying to get a hit every night. Even if I have a bad week or a bad month, I feel like these guys are still with me.

I’ve often wondered if Maybin would’ve had the opportunity to develop with the Tigers. But, when I watch Austin Jackson I think they got a modified version of Maybin in the Curtis Granderson trade.

At any rate, it’s nice to see Maybin with a team that’s rebuilding and that can invest the time to watch him develop.