Thursday, May 3, 2012
Will Middlebrooks : One To Watch (& The Kevin Youkilis Conundrum!)
Rising up out of the Boston Red Sox farm system is arguably the hottest hitter in the entire minor leagues: 3B Will Middlebrooks. So many questions surround this 6'4'' 225 lb young star, all ranging from when he'll play on a regular basis to when he'll take over for Kevin Youkilis at the hot corner. Youkilis is currently on the 15-Day DL with a strained back, which is the perfect circumstance for Middlebrooks to show his ever-growing potential to become a big league all-star. Obviously, you don't want someone like Youkilis to be hurt, but it's definitely nice to see Middlebrooks have a shot. I feel that by the time David Ortiz hangs up the spikes or signs elsewhere, Youkilis will be towards the later half of his prime. This would be the perfect opportunity to try and move Youkilis into the DH slot, giving the up-and-coming Middlebrooks a starting spot, but still allowing Youkilis to bat and to play 3B on a handful of occasions (if needed). The other option, which is less popular (at least within the Boston fanbase), would be to move Youkilis to somewhere where he could be a DH, a first basemen, or even a third basemen. Looking at the possability, several likely candidates include Milwaukee, Oakland, and Cleveland. Milwaukee just lost their first baseman, Matt Gamel, due to a torn ligament in his knee(http://cbsprt.co/Ka8BLs). Oakland has two first basmen that could play on a daily basis, but both are not really top-notch starters. Daric Barton is off to a miserable start (http://es.pn/IxiobZ) and Kila Ka'aihue has potential that he never really lived up to in Kansas City, but he's not exactly the most disciplined hitter at the plate, something Youkilis could instill in him through mentoring(http://yhoo.it/JWdQgy). Cleveland has had a rough situation at first as well, with Casey Kotchman slumping badly (http://es.pn/riWdEM). All three teams also have prospects that could be found to Boston's liking. Besides, the Red Sox already have a DH-in-waiting in Ryan Lavaranway, who is currently with their AAA affiliate Pawtucket. Either way this works out, this whole situation should be interesting to watch unfold.