Is Will Middlebrooks On His Way Out Of Boston?

Will-Middlebrooks

In the game of baseball, there’s a lot of “what have you done for me lately?” that goes on.

For Will Middlebrooks, his struggles in 2013 may have made him expendable to the defending world champions.

In 2012, the 25-year-old was one of the best power hitting prospects in baseball. After an early promotion, Middlebrooks set the city of Boston ablaze, smacking 15 home runs and driving in 54 runs with a .509 slugging percentage in his rookie campaign before a wrist injury ended his season after just 75 games.

But last year–amongst big expectations–the 3rd basemen struggled out of the gate and never really recovered. His power was still big league caliber, but his plate discipline wasn’t. Sent down to the minor leagues to try to work on his plate recognition by mid-season, Middlebrooks improved slightly in AAA Pawtucket and for the Red Sox when he was promoted late during the season. He still finished a disappointing season with a .271 OBP and struck out 98 times and walked just 20 in 374 plate appearances.

Now going into 2014 season as a wildcard of sorts, it remains to be seen if the organization really believes in him. With news that the Red Sox could bring Stephen Drew back on a team friendly deal that could move Middlebrooks to the bench, Xander Bogaerts slated to play everyday, and super 3rd base prospect Garin Cecchini likely to be ready by next season, it appears his days could be numbered.

Follow OPSN Lead Writer Shawn Ferris on Twitter @RealShawnFerris for more MLB news and updates.

 

 

1 Comment

Will’s Career Slash line is:
169 games, .254/ .294 32 & 103.
Basically ONE full year.
Every reporter – and I’m not sure this writer qualifies as a “reporter” – fails to acknowledge that EVERY young player struggles. Will never struggled his rookie year. He was destined to have a slump. Look at Pedroia’s first 2 months (Sept 2006 & April 2007), pretty sure no one thought he’d be ROY, MVP & 2 time WS champ.

What’s important to know about Will is AFTER his slump, he recovered to nearly identical #’s he posted in 2012.

In 2012, in 267 AB’s, he hit .288 15 HR, 54 RBI with a .325 OBP & .834 OPS
In 2013, after his recall, in 145 AB’s, he hit .276 8 HR, 24 RBI with a .329 OBP & .805 OPS.

Batting average is a mis-leading stat. So look that the OBP (nearly identical, improved slightly) his OPS was a little worse.

In 2012, he hit a HR every 17.8 AB’s. In 2nd half of 2013, he hit a HR every 18.1 AB’s.

If you look up Stephen Drew’s 2nd half, it wasn’t THAT much greater than Will’s 2nd half. Drew got the nod in playoffs, yes. But it wasn’t based on any stats. Farrell was not about to go with Bogey & Will (2 youngsters). Farrell even admitted as much when people were calling for Drew to be benched during an historically bad post-season, Farrell said, “Stephen’s defense is keeping him in the lineup.”

Not his bat. Will actually outhit Drew in the playoffs, going 4-20 with 3 BB’s while Drew was 6-54 with 19K’s and 1 BB. He was even 0-5 in sac bunt attempts.

Will’s 1st half #’s were so bad, and then he was benched in playoffs – this is why so many are down are Will. But does Drew save us?

1st half of the year, .233 with a .313 OBP. Playoffs of .111 & .140 OBP. If you combine ALL games for 2013 for Drew, it totals 140, not even a full regular season. His combined stats were .237 with a .310 OBP.

Hardly a savoir. And hardly worth $10-12 million for 2-3 years.

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