The word on the street is that Will Middlebrooks has been called up to replace the injured Kevin Youkilis. Or maybe Youkilis was so upset at Bobby V’s comments on him not trying that he is pretending to be injured. Either way, Middlebrooks is up and Youkilis is down. So what can we expect from Middlebrook and is he a must-add on your fantasy baseball team?
Middlebrooks had 20 Home Runs in his first 1,000 minor league at-bats. Then he erupted for 23 Home Runs in 439 at-bats last season. I guess you could call him a late bloomer. Nobody is interested in a third baseman that hits 12 HR with a .275 average. But 23 HR with a .285 average while playing for the Sawx? That is a prospect that a lot of people will get behind.
After his breakout 2011 season, a lot of people said, “Let me see you do that again.” Middlebrooks gave those doubters all they could handle by starting off 2012 scorching hot. After 24 games Middlebrooks was slashing .333/.380/.677 while bombing 9 Home Runs and driving in 27 runs.
One thing I noticed with Middlebrooks is that most of his comparable hitters are all outfielders or first basemen. It makes me wonder if third base will be his permanent home. Getting back on topic, what can Will do for your fantasy team? He has 25 Home Run potential as early as this year with the potential to hit 40 in future seasons. The keyword there being “potential.” Realistically he is worth an add in 12+ team fantasy leagues because the upside is certainly there. Just don’t get to crazy dropping a solid player. Many superior prospects have failed in the past.
Comparable Players: Adam Jones, Mark Trumbo, Mark Reynolds
2012 Prediction: 355 AB – 48 R – 14 HR – 49 RBI – 6 SB – .258 AVG