Brewers 2016: Will Middlebrooks
While Aaron Hill is the as the regular third baseman for the Brewers as of now, Will Middlebrooks looks to show that he is worthy of being the starter at third base. Having played there with the Red Sox Middlebrooks debuted in 2012 with Boston batting .288 with 15 home runs and 54 RBIs. After his rookie campaign, Middlebrooks batted .227 with 27 home runs and 49 RBIs, only to be plagued by injuries in 2014 batting only .191. Middlebrooks was shipped to San Diego when Boston signed Pablo Sandavol as a free agent. In San Diego Middlebrooks continued to struggle before being optioned to the minors. Since then he has yet to play again in the majors and with the Brewers Middlebrooks is looking to end the skid he has been on since his sophomore campaign. Middlebrooks is in his prime and if he makes adjustments in Spring Training he could come out with the starting job for third base.
Between the Padres and their AAA affiliate, El Paso Middlebrooks posted a batting average of .233, the better of his average coming in the minors. He managed to put up 13 Hrs and 48 RBIs. Middlebrooks only played 121 games between the two and ultimately came to the Brewers in the offseason after struggling to put up good numbers with Milwaukee.
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FanGraphs’ Steamer projects Middlebrooks to bat .233 with 10 HRs and 30 RBIs posting roughly the same numbers which he did last year. For Will Middlebrooks that isn’t the ideal situation as in his prime, he’s looking to show that he can still provide quality numbers for a baseball team. For the Brewers it gives them options, having Middlebrooks a non-roster invite to Spring Training, it’s a low-risk high reward situation for them. Even if Middlebrooks ends up back in the minors with the Brewers, he could provide an alternative if Hill were to get hurt and would have a chance to re-establish himself as a regular third baseman.