One of the few good things to happen to the Boston Red Sox last season was the emergence of Will Middlebrooks. It wasn’t just that Middlebrooks performed well when he was called to the majors, it was also a sign that the Red Sox farm system might be on the verge of starting to supply the major league team with impact talent again.
Middlebrooks was drafted out of high school in the fifth round during the 2007 draft. Drafting and developing is the key to the Red Sox getting back to being a championship-level team. Middlebrooks is a prime example of what the organization needs to be producing: young cost-controlled players.
Looking at Middlebrooks swing, he looks like he was tailor made for Fenway, but has easy power to all fields and has no problem taking the ball to the right-center gap, something that will probably allow him to be significant run-producer.
In his limited time in Boston last season, the 24-year old was able to hit 15 home runs and knocked in 54 runs in only 75 games before his season ended due to a broken wrist. Despite an injury scare earlier this spring, Middlebrooks has hit .362 and looked very sharp.
Looking around the American League field this year, it would be a mild surprise if Middlebrooks isn’t named to the American League All-Star team. Other than Miguel Cabrera and Adrian Beltre, the field looks wide open for a young star like Middlebrooks to break through.
Given the early season injury to David Ortiz, Middlebrooks also has the opportunity to be moved into a ru- producing role in the middle of the Red Sox order, further giving him a chance to have a breakout season.