BY EVAN BLEIER
Although you won’t see his name near the top of any AL Rookie of the Year lists, Red Sox third baseman Will Middlebrooks is putting together a season that should have more folks taking notice. Since being called up to the majors in early May, Middlebrooks been one of the most consistent hitters in the Boston offense despite having his place in the lineup shifted time and again by manager Bobby Valentine. The constant juggling hasn’t seemed to affect Middlebrooks at the plate, as his average has hovered around .300 for much of the season. It currently rests at .299 after career game 64. Pair that average with 13 home runs, 47 RBI and an OPS of .855 and you have the makings of a pretty good rookie season.
In fact, take a look at another first year player’s numbers through 64 games and it’s easy to see why Middlebrooks should be getting a little bit more attention:
BA: .281 HR: 8 RBI: 25 OPS: .817
The numbers above belong to National League Rookie of the Year favorite Bryce Harper. Granted, Harper bats higher up in the lineup than where most of Middlebrooks’ at-bats have come from, so it’s logical that his RBI totals would be lower, but the rest of the numbers more than speak for themselves. Harper does possess superior speed and he walks more than Middlebrooks, but both players struck out at nearly identical rates through 64 games, Harper with 55, Middlebrooks with 61. This is not to say that heralded top prospect Harper shouldn’t be getting his due or that Middlebrooks will turn into a superstar, but the gap between the two players, at the plate at least, is a lot smaller than some might think.
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Bloomberg Sports Anchors Julie Alexandria and Rob Shaw discuss four players who have made or will soon make their major league debut and could help your fantasy team.
Anthony Gose, OF, Blue Jays
Gose picked up a single in his debut as a pinch hitter against the Yankees on Tuesday. Just 21 years old, he boasts a high on-base percentage and even stole 70 bases a year ago. He is not a power hitter, which is fine for a Toronto lineup with plenty of them. The injury of Jose Bautista opens a door for Gose, who does strike out a little too often for a player most dangerous when on the base paths.
Matt Harvey, SP, Mets
The season-ending injury to Dillon Gee opens the door for Harvey to eventually make his debut. For now, the Mets will go with veteran spot starter Miguel Batista, but General Manager Sandy Alderson did confirm that we will see Harvey this season with the Mets. Harvey has been a bit wild this season but he does miss bats and even hit a home run with a .267 average as a batter at Triple-A.
Wil Myers, OF, Royals
The former catcher is shining bright at Triple-A this season with 15 home runs, 46 RBI and a .313 average through 53 games. The Royals are very much playing for the future and will likely be sellers this summer in order to open up some playing time for Myers. Look for Lorenzo Cain or Jeff Francouer to be on the move to get Myers some Big League at-bats.
Starling Marte, OF, Pirates
The Pirates are a small-market team and usually prefer to upgrade from within. For the first time in a while, they will have that opportunity the second they call up Starling Marte. The outfielder has 11 home runs and 18 steals while batting .292 at Triple-A. Marte is bound to mesh well with Andrew McCutchen as the Pirates look to win the division.
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