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Will Middlebrooks has been historically productive

Jun 24, 2012, 10:43 AM EDT

middlebrooks ap AP

Red Sox third baseman Will Middlebrooks was batting .333/.380/.677 with nine home runs and 27 RBI in 100 plate appearances for Triple-A Pawtucket at the time of his promotion to the major leagues. And he’s barely slowed down at the next level.

Middlebrooks went 3-for-4 with a double, a home run and two RBI in Saturday’s 8-4 defeat of the Braves.

The 23-year-old native of Greenville, Texas now boasts a .960 OPS, nine homers and 33 RBI through the first 40 games of his major league career. That RBI total through 40 games is the most for any American League rookie since Wally Joyner drove in 38 for the Angels back in 1986. And the most in baseball since Albert Pujols tallied 44 RBI in his first 40 games with the Cardinals to open the 2001 season.

Middlebrooks is here to stay. And Kevin Youkilis is on the move — possibly to the White Sox.

  1. redguy12588 - Jun 24, 2012 at 11:12 AM

    His BABIP is hovering around .500. That’s not sustainable.

    • erk877 - Jun 24, 2012 at 11:14 AM

      It certainly isn’t, since its actually .392.

      • redguy12588 - Jun 24, 2012 at 11:21 AM

        Still unsustainable. Good for him that he’s doing well, but he’ll fall back to earth sooner than later.

      • paperlions - Jun 24, 2012 at 11:50 AM

        He’s right though.

        The leader in career BABIP since 2000 (min 2000 PA) is Votto with .358. Only 14 of the 415 players with 2000+ PAs over the last 12 years have a career BABIP over .340. In all likelihood, you can expect at least a 50 pt reduction in BABIP for Middlebrooks and likely something closer to an 70 pt reduction (not necessarily this year, but as a career norm). No one is saying Middlebrooks isn’t very good….but it is unreasonable to expect this level of production to continue when there is so much evidence that it is SSS aided.

    • sabatimus - Jun 24, 2012 at 1:22 PM

      So what? He’s only played 40 games. People just LOVE to extrapolate from such a small number. And this is his rookie season–no team has a book on him yet. Once they figure out how to pitch to him, it’ll be up to Middlebrooks to adjust.

      This is so early in Middlebrooks’ career that any proclamations about what he will or won’t do later on are really silly. I’m just enjoying the ride.

    • braddavery - Jun 24, 2012 at 2:32 PM

      I don’t see anyone saying he can keep up this pace, so I don’t understand the point of stating that he won’t be able to as if that was a point someone made.

  2. NJgriffNC - Jun 24, 2012 at 12:02 PM

    I could not care less about numbers. Watching the kid hit, he has excellent timing and a lot of power with a pretty short explosive swing. Great balance throughout the swing as well. I’m sure major league pitchers will learn how to pitch to Middlebrooks as they get more familiar with him, but I expect a kid with this much talent to be a perennial .300+ / 25HR hitter in this league.

    • paperlions - Jun 24, 2012 at 12:15 PM

      But….I thought you didn’t care about numbers (i.e. .300+ avg and 25 HRs/year). 😛

  3. yankeehatersaredelusional - Jun 24, 2012 at 12:16 PM

    I got him on my fantasy team like 5 days after his call-up
    Might be in my top 5 greatest pick-ups of all time

    • aceshigh11 - Jun 24, 2012 at 12:30 PM

      Hey, nice job! You’re an amazing fantasy GM.

      Have fun counting all your fantasy money too, Frodo.

      • paperlions - Jun 24, 2012 at 1:11 PM

        Except, of course, most fantasy leagues are played for real money.

        I don’t play fantasy baseball, but do play in 10-12 fantasy football leagues/year, most of which are for non-fantasy money. Over the last 5 years I’ve averaged $400 in winnings after accounting for league fees. I really enjoy FF, so even if it was free that would be a great deal (lots of entertainment/enjoyment at no cost), getting a few bucks on top of that just makes it that much more enjoyable.

  4. wlschneider09 - Jun 25, 2012 at 8:23 AM

    Minor league career slash line: .276/.333/.787 over 416 games. 449/128 k/bb ratio, which hasn’t changed in the majors (37/7).

    I will now violate HBT commandment #34 (Thou shalt not speak evil of a prospect), but I’ be absolutely shocked if he didn’t regress to numbers around his minor league line. If I owned him in fantasy leagues I’d be selling high.

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