Tagged: Will Middlebrooks

2014 Rankings: Third Base

Rankings based on standard 5×5 rotisserie format.

Name – R / RBI / HR / SB / BA

  1. Miguel Cabrera – 105 / 124 / 39 / 4 / .332
  2. Adrian Beltre – 95 / 106 / 31 / 1 / .297
  3. Evan Longoria –  93 / 108 / 32 / 2 / .282
  4. David Wright – 88 / 90 / 22 / 20 / .299
  5. Ryan Zimmerman – 84 / 85 / 24 / 4 / .283
  6. Josh Donaldson – 78 / 81 / 22 / 6 / .274
  7. Manny Machado – 86 / 74 / 19 / 6 / .276
  8. Kyle Seager – 75 / 78 / 21 / 11 / .259
  9. Pedro Alvarez – 68 / 94 / 33 / 1 / .238
  10. Aramis Ramirez – 61 / 76 / 20 / 2 / .291
  11. Xander Bogaerts
  12. Pablo Sandoval – 65 / 77 / 15 / 1 / .289
  13. Will Middlebrooks – 54 / 74 / 23 / 5 / .256
  14. Chase Headley – 64 / 64 / 14 / 12 / .259
  15. Nolan Arenado – 59 / 62 / 13 / 2 / .282
  16. Brett Lawrie – 59 / 50 / 11 / 12 / .268

Thoughts:

  • I think 19 home runs for Machado is waaaaaaay too optimistic. I would be happy for just 14 bombs again. Still, taking those five homers away doesn’t affect his placement in the rankings, as he’s being buoyed by counting stats and a reliable batting average (compared to everyone on the list who follows him).
  • Bogaerts is a sneaky pick for power up the middle once he moves to shortstop. He may be worth a bump in the rankings for that. I don’t want to get too optimistic the numbers he can put up, but somewhere between 15 to 20 home runs and a .290 batting average (hence, why he’s snugly between Ramirez and Sandoval) sounds about right.
  • For all of Ramirez’s consistency, he’s a good bet to bounce back. However, he hit a career-high percentage of ground balls, something of which he may not fully control, but he still needs to hit fly balls to hit home runs. If you can squeak 150 games out of him, he’s still good for 20 homers, but that may be asking too much at this point.
  • I will not, not, not support Lawrie. I get it: he was a top prospect once with massive potential. Now what? Am I going to put a basically unproven third baseman in my top 10 with the hopes this will be his breakout year? No way. If I miss the Lawrie train as it leaves the station, and he goes off this year, then so be it. But I have Middlebrooks with huge power (31 home runs per 162 games) and the opportunity to have third base to himself. His BAbip 2012 was high and then it tanked in 2013. Watch it find a happy medium in 2014 as Middlebrooks is able to keep the keystone to himself.
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The quickest of thoughts: Middlebrooks, Dickerson, Chen and more

  • Boston Red Sox third baseman Will Middlebrooks is not only back — he’s BACK! Two home runs, three doubles, nine hits in 19 at-bats… The Cult of Xander Bogaerts is praying for Middlebrooks’ demise (again), but with a slow first half (bogged down by a .260ish BAbip) behind him, this could foretell a productive last two months.
  • I can’t wait until Colorado Rockies outfielder Corey Dickerson earns a full-time job. He’s batting .315/.370/.517 in 89 major-league at-bats, and his minor league numbers were impressive — mouthwatering, even, when you consider he gets to call Coors Field home — batting .371 this year in Triple-A with 11 home runs in 75 games. Better yet, He hit a combined 54 home runs in 2011 and ’12. Playing time may limit his contributions this year, but I love Dickerson as a breakout candidate next year.
  • Is the Bruce Chen I’m seeing the real Bruce Chen, or is it simply a mirage? It’s hard to argue with the Kansas City Royals starting pitcher’s sparkling 2.20 ERA and 1.08 WHIP through seven starts. But then something like this happens and I remember why I hated him so much last year: He’s 36 years old, he has a career 1.37 WHIP… and this is not a rebirth. The six earned runs in his latest start is vintage Chen. In short: it’s a mirage.
  • St. Louis Cardinals Kolten Wong isn’t playing much, but he does have three stolen bases and has only struck out three times in 18 at-bats. It’s an incredibly small sample size, but it’s good to see him not being overmatched at the plate. He struck out only one in eight plate appearances through three minor-league seasons. I share the same sentiment about Wong as I do Dickerson; Wong will hit for less power but better average.
  • Oakland Athletics starter Sonny Gray continues to not only impress, he dazzles. I understand why owners are scrambling to pick him up, but I’m hesitant: he sported an ugly 1.36 WHIP in almost 300 minor-league innings. He’s walking fewer guys in the majors than the minors, but not by a large margin. Gray was simply hittable in the minors, and here lies my hesitance as I wait for him to start to get hit around once major league hitters adjust to him. In the meantime, I can’t fault anyone for riding the hot hand. Perhaps it will be me who kicks himself when Gray proves he has made a turnaround, but his AAA results weren’t promising — not enough for me, at least. The strikeouts are nice, though.