The Boston Red Sox had Kevin Youkilis occupying third base for years, but the emergence of youngster, Will Middlebrooks, made the veteran expendable enough to ship off to the Chicago White Sox in the middle of last year.
Middlebrooks stepped in and immediately filled the starting role for Boston at third. He became a very valuable midseason pickup for fantasy baseball owners, and will certainly be on everyone‘s cheat sheets this spring.
In just 75 games last year, the 24-year-old crushed 15 home runs. He also drove in an unbelievable 54 runs in very limited action. Middlebrooks showed some amazing power from the hot corner and his ability to hit long balls will have him hitting in the heart of the Bo-Sox batting order in 2013.
Middlebrooks also finished with a .333 batting average throughout the 2012 MILB season. It was nice to see him carry over this success to the pros, as he batted a very respectable .288 in his first major league stint. He’s a great contact hitter, so expect him to keep his batting average around .290.
Middlebrooks will be a great sleeper infielder to target this year. He won’t get picked anywhere close to David Wright or Ryan Zimmerman in drafts this summer, but he can certainly still put up starter quality numbers in 2013.
Draft Middlebrooks anywhere after the seventh round, and be happy that you can grab a starting fantasy third baseman with a ton of upside that late in the draft. He may not be an elite third basemen in smaller leagues, but he can become a huge sleeper to target in any league with more than 10 owners.