28-Year-Old Third Baseman – Free Agent
2016 Fantasy Baseball Outlook
Middlebrooks was part of the flurry of moves GM A.J Preller made in his first full offseason on the job as San Diego's GM, and like most of the Padres, Middlebrooks failed to live up to expectations. ...
Will Middlebrooks Contract Information:
Signed a minor league contract with the Brewers in December of 2015.
Middlebrooks elected to become a free agent Tuesday.
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Will Middlebrooks: MLB Games Played By Position
Will Middlebrooks Split Stats (View Full Split Stats)
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2016 Stat Review for Will Middlebrooks As compared to the top 200 hitters in 2015 (min 420 PA)
Good contact skills often lead to better fantasy stats.
SLG and ISO are useful indicators of power.
Patience at the plate often leads to positive outcomes.
A couple of useful stats for evaluating a hitter.
Will Middlebrooks: Past News Updates ( ▲ View most recent update )
RotoWire's Preseason Outlooks
For a third straight season in 2014, Middlebrooks was limited by an injury. And for the second straight year, when he was healthy, Middlebrooks didn't hit consistently. The power potential still exists -- he crushed 32 homers in 169 games between 2012 and 2013 -- but he strikes out way too often and owns a career .284 on-base percentage. The Red Sox, by their own admission, sold low in December, shipping Middlebrooks to San Diego for catcher Ryan Hanigan straight up. Middlebrooks' pop alone may give him the inside track over Yangervis Solarte for the starting job at third base, but he will still make for a tough sell outside of NL-only leagues until he shows improvement on the field.
Middlebrooks spent portions of the 2013 season as the starting third baseman, but lost the job twice. He hit poorly out of the gate, lost the starting job and spent the summer in Pawtucket. Upon his return in August, he hit better but was replaced in the postseason by Xander Bogaerts. When all was said and done, Middlebrooks slashed .227/.271/.425 -- not very good. But he did flash long-ball power, bashing 17 homers in 374 at-bats. It could be the broken wrist that ended his 2012 rookie season impacted his swing, particularly early on. He wouldn't be the only player in MLB to return slowly from a wrist injury. Middlebrooks was a better looking hitter in the second half, though he still struck out nearly five times as much as he walked and that on-base percentage is ugly. If Bogaerts takes over the starting shortstop job, Middlebrooks will start at third base. If the Red Sox feel Bogaerts isn't ready and add a veteran shortstop, Middlebrooks' role is less clear.
Middlebrooks' rookie season ended early due to a broken wrist, but he showed enough in 75 games (15 homers, 54 RBI) to make him a hot young power prospect. He is expected to be on schedule with his offseason hitting program, but wrist injuries linger with some players, often requiring a little more time than expected to return their power strokes. We should get a good look at him in spring training to see how the wrist is doing. If healthy, Middlebrooks will start at third base for Boston with an opportunity to hit near the middle third of the order.
Middlebrooks shot to the top of the charts in the organization once the Red Sox traded some key prospects for Adrian Gonzalez, and the 23-year-old from Texas didn't disappoint in 2011. He clubbed 23 homers with 94 RBI, most of that work while performing for Double-A Portland, for which he hit .302/.345/.520 in 397 plate appearances. Things didn't go so well after a promotion to Triple-A Pawtucket, but the story of a prospect needing to adjust to advanced pitching at higher levels is a long one in baseball. He'll never be an on-base machine, but is improving his strikeout rate and developing a potent power stroke. As Kevin Youkilis begins to show wear at the major league level, the organization is looking for Middlebrooks to put the finishing touches on his development this season, and step into the hot corner as early as 2013.
Middlebrooks started seeing some results from the work he's put in at the plate, cutting down on his strikeout rate while showing some power in 2010. He still has some work to do in terms of selection and recognition, but the mechanics of his swing have definitely improved from his early development days. He'll likely start the season against advanced pitching in Double-A, so it will be a test to see if he can continue the progress he made in 2010. Middlebrooks doesn't project as a high average or OBP guy, but does have power potential as his body fills out. Cutting down on strikeouts (making contact) is a key to his success. Defensively, he's easily handled the move from shortstop to third base.
Middlebrooks was hampered early on by a hamstring injury, but showed good contact and bat speed. While he continues to struggle with plate patience and pitch recognition (123 strikeouts in 374 at-bats), Middlebrooks is improving in those areas. Right now, it's the off-speed stuff giving him the most trouble. As he gets stronger and with the good bat speed generated, Middlebrooks' power should come along. Defensively, the converted shortstop has a good arm throwing across the infield and is improving as a third baseman. His goals in 2010 are clear: pitch recognition, cutting down on strikeouts and managing at-bats better.