Third baseman Will Middlebrooks has decided to hang up his spikes, Peter Abraham of the Boston Globe reports. Though he’s still just thirty years of age, Middlebrooks had yet to make it back after suffering a fibula fracture last spring during camp with the Phillies.
Originally taken in the fifth round of the 2007 draft, Middlebrooks emerged as an exciting prospect who showed immense promise in his debut campaign with the Red Sox in 2012. He swatted fifteen long balls and slashed .288/.325/.509 in his first 286 plate appearances in the bigs, making for a silver lining to an otherwise miserable campaign in Boston.
Unfortunately, Middlebrooks came back to earth in the ensuing campaign and never regained his footing. Over the following five campaigns, he compiled a meager .210/.256/.356 batting line with 28 home runs in 948 plate appearances.
Middlebrooks ultimately saw time with four MLB organizations. The Red Sox dealt him to the Padres in the 2014-15 offseason, and Middlebrooks joined the Brewers and Rangers in the following two seasons on successive minor-league deals. Though he saw at least some action at the game’s highest level in 2016 and 2017, opportunities were few and far between. That said, Middlebrooks posted strong numbers at the Triple-A level in each of those campaigns, turning in consecutive .816 and .857 OPS efforts.
Dang, He was the Stewart, before Stewart.
Next up Brett Lawrie? (Admittedly, sad when ChiSox cut
he was never given a full chance….end result is ok for any team but give his promise and minor league stats….he could have made more than 1
He was absolutely given a chance, many chances. He just failed to deliver on the initial promise he showed.
Lawrie has his chances, the guy just couldn’t stay healthy.
Ahhhhh, Mr. Middlebrooks……..
For years I read that he was a can’t-miss star – as all Red Sox and Yankee prospects are.
So I guess from here it’s onto the HOF.
Move out of the bubble then or find new reading material. I
Well sox and yanks do have about 20 combined cant miss Prospects.
I know this seems like a clever thing to say whenever a prospect doesn’t pan out: “Oh, I thought this guy was a can’t miss superstar blah blah blah shows what these teams know.” Prospects don’t pan out in every organization. It’s why teams should probably try to develop as many as possible because the idea that even the majority of them are going to be even average players is pretty slim. Even the teams that won with homegrown cores, like the Royals or Giants in the 2010s had a bunch of busted prospects too; they just managed to hit on enough so we forgot about the Bubba Starlings and Luke Hochevars of the world.
ALso, Middlebrooks was ranked in the top-100 prospects in baseball once -at #51. He was ranked first in a bad Boston system that didn’t produce, really any major leaguers that year except Bogaerts and Bradley Jr. Everyone else on that top-10 list was a bust.
But that isn’t rare. Kansas City, which, as I noted, developed a core that helped them to two World Series, had this list as their top-10 prospects in 2012, the same year Middlebrooks ranked first in Boston’s system:
Obviously what happened to Ventura was tragic, even though he was declining as a pitcher before his death, he was still a success. Everyone of the rest of those guys either have never made the majors or have been bench/replacement level guys. If you wonder how a team can develop a world series core and then three years later lose 104 games, this is how; prospects almost never all pan out. Cuthbert actually had the Middlebrooks career – one pretty promising season and then injuries and inability to adjust doomed him.
But ripping on highly-ranked prospects because they didn’t pan out is a bit short-sighted, because the majority of prospects don’t pan out.
Why include Ventura??
Because he was on their top prospect list
That was the Royals top-10 prospect list in 2012, the same year Middlebrooks was the top prospect on Boston’s list.
This was really well thought out, stated and included real world examples. Thanks for an interesting comment. This is more of the content we need, not complaining about other members.
The Red Sox (and yes, The Yankees too – see Jesus Montero and Drew Henson) have always had a tendency to aggressively hype their minor league players. It makes sense from the standpoint of potential trades, and of course some of those players have been terrific at the MLB level. Others, like Middlebrooks and Izzy Alcantara (remember that clown?), were not, despite the sometimes overwhelming amount of hype. The latest example, IMO, has been Christian Vazquez, who is a fine player but before he even made his first start, was touted on WEEI radio (channeling the Bosox front office) as the best catcher in AAA and a can’t miss all-star: essentially the next Johnny Bench. It was laughable to hear, but entertainment value aside, it doesn’t help a young player to have the team, or fandom, attach unreasonable expectations upon him.
Of course teams and their radio stations are going to highly tout their own prospects. What are they supposed to do, point out their flaws publicly? That’s what fans and teams and their employees are supposed to do. Maybe you hear about Yankees prospects more because there’s more and bigger media in New York, but it’s not a fault or strange for a team to hype its own prospects- they all do that.
Hyping prospects or just having the majority of MLB ORGANIZATIONS WANT THEM b/c the Red Sox and yank’ems are the most popular and famous franchises in baseball and have a lot of success with players making it at the pro MLB level? Really makes a noob wonder….. hmmm. Quite the astute observation though gomez, lol.
BTW, WTF thought Vaz was going to be the next star catcher for the Red Sox? LOL that is just asinine to mention, no one in Boston or New England thought so. perhaps you were listening to a WEEI pirate signal from new yawk? HA HA. I don’t personally hate Vaz in the slightest and HE DID HELP the Red Sox win a WS Title this past season, so no one should be too down on him, but I never liked him on the team long term or thought of him as the NEXT BIG THING as far as Sawx catchers go. Sure many felt the same. Think Big Boy Sandy is JUST AS VALUABLE or more so, the pitching staff does great with him. Just an example, Christian barely can communicate in English which is tough for the pitching staff for obvious reasons. Think Swihart might still be in the picture too. Don’t think the Sawx have the “catcher of the future” yet IF it isn’t Blake, honestly. Don’t think they’re too worried about it either, cuz if they were, they’d pick up Realmuto with the Marlins.
After his rookie season I thought he had potential to turn into a serviceable third baseman. Not sure what happened. Boston fans who watched him 140-162 times a year would know better than I would. He signed on with Milwaukee but I never kept up with him while he was with the Crew.
That good rookie season he was having was cut short when he was hit in the hand by a pitch. Had surgery on it and was never really the same after that.
Not saying that injury is entirely to blame for his woes, but he certainly isn’t the first player whose career took a nose dive after a hand/wrist injury.
Jenny Dell ruined him. Her beautiful face, body and huge boobs completely knocked him off his game for good.
that’s why your wife moved on
Then there’s that…
That broken wrist ruined him. He was never the same after that.
Sure that wrist injury was FROM THE FIELD? LOL
Lol Mr Boom Boom
Middlebrooks is a perfect example of how difficult it really is to compete in MLB. The ability to constantly adjust and tweak your swing is imperative to your success. That’s what makes some of the comments on this site so amusing, especially when someone says that a MLB player sucks. Even the worst players are off the chart athletes.
I can’t stand listening to the drunk, out of shape guys who yell “bum” at major league baseball games. This game is incredibly hard. Your average bench player was most likely setting records at their high school. Like you said, adjustments are key. See Jeff Francoeur.
Another great talent that faded fast
Look at Pete Incaviglia, one season at Ok state he had 48 homers and 143 rbi…and he was far from a star in big leagues
i once saw a drunk dude at miller park with an Orioles logo on his hat and he was cheering for them.. only problem was it was brewers bs braves
lol In the mid-eighties, I saw a drunk guy in a Twins hat get kicked out of a Rangers/Red Sox game at Fenway. Good times.
nwwh Before you hit crack hard?
there is a video out there of brian scalibrini (probably spelled that wrong but longtime backup center in the nba mostly played on celtics) he is someone who would fall into that “bum” category when you get people at home saying someone sucks. anyhow he challenged anyone in boston to come play him 1 on 1 and i think he played like 5 guys up to 7 or 11 and he won every time as you might expect but he only allowed like 2 total points as well
did a quick google search of scalabrine challenges 1 on 1 and it was back in 2013 he played 4 guys handpicked by local radio station after watching tryout videos. he beat them by a combined score of 44-6
He was also pretty good in college, top scorer both years at USC and led them to the Elite Eight his senior year. He was one of the best players in the Pac-10 during his time there.
Scal’s pretty good in the broadcast booth too. Calls Celtic games and does color. Good dude.
Old Brian Scallywag is a clown, would be better in previous stops in chicago, new yawk/new jersey or back home in CORNYfornia, but I don’t honestly hate the guy. As NBA commentators go, he’s actually decent enough and not as boring as most. That said, sometimes he’s got something worth saying or joking about with some wit/humor, while the rest of the time he’s just flapping away like a typical tard. LMAO
Fasbal1, who do you think you are making civil and rational comments on the internet.
I had to do 1 good deed this week….done…..lol
Remember Michael Jordan’s baseball career? Granted, he didn’t spend much time on the diamond. His AA stats had him heading to Rookie ball.
Current manager of the Indians said he would have paid in the majors eventually. Said last half of the year he was stinging the ball. It’s was in the ESPN 30 for 30 episode.
Well of course a 30/30 episode about Jordan would say that
When people say that ballplayers suck we are of course saying this in comparison to other ballplayers. Of course they are all vastly superior to us. I have no idea how people can’t grasp this.
I think we all grasp the statement but realize how stupid it is to say…
Chicks Dig the Longball
My rule of thumb is the second someone calls a professional athlete a bum or sucks, their opinion is no longer relevant. Feel free to be irrationally judgmental of a guy who is failing to do one of the hardest thing I’ve ever seen, just know I will never respect you as a man.
My rule of thumb is when people say things this dumb, their opinion is no longer valid. And no one, absolutely no one, respects you as a “man”
I’ll never forget the Middlebrooks obstruction call that ended game 3 of the 2013 WS, historic!
sucks the guy broke his foot(?) in ST this year. that was probably the nail in the coffin.
*leg my bad on that one
Wrist too I heard…. Clearly a very durable player….. I can’t imagine WHY the Sawx didn’t want to give this guy an even longer plethora of opportunities to win the 3rd base job. Got the cute chick, millions in the bank account and a WS Ring while in Title Town USA. Not too bad for Will Middling’brooks….. 😉
What happened to Middlebrooks? He seemed solid his rookie season and then just fell apart. Being a fan of the Yanks, he’s a guy I really liked on the Sox. Too bad it didn’t work out, wish him the best in the future
Poor eyes and lack of batting adjustments. Had lots of power. Was okay defensively. But swung and missed way too much.
So you’re saying he was Travis Shaw apparently? Swing and miss with a low batting average. LOL. Funny thing is Thornburg HAS A WS RING to his name. Travis Shaw and the brewers? Notsomuch….. HAHA
*Former Future Hall of Famer Will Middlebrooks.
He has earned a few Million Dollars. He also Won the Grand Prize with Jenny Dell, The old Gorgeous Red Sox Reporter Lady. Let’s be real, He is living a good life. I wish I had 1/10th of his Success/Happiness.
He earned league minimum for time spent on the 25-man roster. I’d be surprised if he actually earned $1MM total since being drafted…
According to Spotrac, his career MLB earnings were $3,927,915.
That won’t last long with his lifestyle, and once the money goes, the girl will probably be next.
Yikes. Sorry about your life
Was looking for this comment before I said the same.
Said the same thing below eric maxfield. Great minds think alike. Jenny Dell is a GIANT PRIZE, all of Red Sox Nation loved that chick!!!! Sucked seeing her leave, she was cute and good at her job. Go SAWX!!!!
By far one of the biggest disappointments in terms of Top Prospects.
He won a World Series. He has a new born baby and a beautiful wife. God has blessed him. On to the next chapter.
Good start to his career, got hurt and it all went downhill. But yes, he does have a gorgeous wife. Onto the next phase in his life.
… couldn’t lay off the slider low-and-away. I enjoyed watching him during his rookie campaign. Best of luck.
Pretty sure Mr. Texass’brooks made out pretty good in Boston….. asinine writing from jeff todd above without question. The guy got paid plenty of money (millions in fact), got to date/marry foxy Jenny Dell working for the Red Sox at NESN at the time WHERE he met her and made off with a WS Ring too that he did little to nothing to contribute to winning. Not too shabby for a sometimes boring/lame American game that pales in comparison with other pro sports….. LoL. Doubt the guy was too committed to continuing to play the game retiring at 30 with plenty of money in the bank. After all, it’s a game of adjustments and intelligence to some degree, some guys just don’t have those abilities…. usually ones from the lone star state, ha ha. Will would swing at almost anything, low batting average etc. but he did OWN the blue jays with 2-3 HRs in a game…. then again, who doesn’t own them? Enjoy the retirement man.
I’d kill to have Middlebrooks career, worst thing that happened because of him was the trading of Kevin youkilis, although youk was in a decline it was surely sad to see Obama talk trash about him changing his socks
No offense intended toward the man, but this is precisely why you don’t get all worked up about trading prospects for established major league players. “Potential” and talent rarely translates into all star. I rooted for Middlebrooks and would not be surprised to see him coaching very shortly.
Hey Jeff Todd, using the word “campaign” three times in two sentences and 4X in a short article is a bit much. Try using “season” once in awhile bro!
Only reason he was talked about was because he played on the east coast. Had it been anyone not on the coast he would of been just another prospect.