Will Middlebrooks is the starting third basemen for the Colorado Sky Sox in the Milwaukee Brewers organization.
But at one point in time, Will Middlebrooks was considered one of the top prospects in all of baseball. At his highest, he was ranked #51 by Baseball America prior to the 2012 season.
During the 2012 season, he got his first call up to the major leagues with the Boston Red Sox. He was a bright spot in one of the most disastrous, disappointing seasons in Red Sox and baseball history (I had wanted Bobby Valentine to manage the Milwaukee Brewers before Ken Macha was hired). During the season, Will Middlebrooks slashed a respectable, .288/.325/.509. He hit 15 HR’s and drove in 54 RBI’s in 267 AB’s.
So, when the season concluded and Bobby Valentine was mercifully fired, Will Middlebrooks entered the season as the team’s starting third basemen. But he wasn’t met with the same success he had the season prior.
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He slashed a disappointing .227/.271/.425 and added 17 HR and 49 RBI’s. The team, however, won the World Series and Will Middlebrooks was brought back for the following season.
But 2014 was even more disappointing. In 215 AB’s, he slashed, .191/.256/.265 with 2 HR’s and 19 RBI’s.
So the one-time top prospect was sent to the San Diego Padres after the season for catcher Ryan Hanigan. While Will Middlebrooks did better in 2015 than in 2014, there wasn’t much room to go lower. He slashed .212/.241/.361 with 9 HR’s and 29 RBI’s in 255 AB’s.
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David Stearns, seemingly always looking for diamonds in the rough, signed Will Middlebrooks in middle December. He’s performed pretty well at Colorado Springs, slashing .270/.286/.507 with 9 HR’s and 37 RBI’s. But he has only 4 walks in 221 AB’s. In fact, his walk % is at 1.9 this season, which would be the worst of his career. In his career, for context, Will Middlebrooks has a career 5.1 walk percentage, while sporting a high 25.6 strikeout percentage.
And there in lies the rub. For all his talents, he’s never been able to substantially improve his eye at the plate.