Seattle, WA, USA; Boston Red Sox third baseman Will Middlebrooks (right) celebrates with right fielder Cody Ross (7) after Middlebrooks hit a solo home run against the Seattle Mariners during the 5th inning at Safeco Field. Mandatory Credit: Steven Bisig-US PRESSWIRE
This should be no surprise to Red Sox fans, who have watched Will Middlebrooks not only fill-in for Kevin Youkilis but then take over as the club's third baseman, but he was named to Baseball America's mid-season All-Rookie team. Middlebrooks has hit .298/.355/.538 with 10 homers and 21 extra-base hits in 185 plate appearances, this after an offensive outburst at Triple-A Pawtucket that earned him a ticket to the majors to begin with.
It's also not a surprise that Middlebrooks is the third baseman in the mid-season iteration of the All-Rookie squad, as there wasn't much in the way of competition. There isn't another rookie third baseman doing all that much in the majors in 2012, besides 26-year-old Todd Frazier, who might technically be a rookie due to a lack of playing time, but lost his rookie status due to service time in 2011.
Middlebrooks is the first Boston rookie to make the cut since 2008, when both Jacoby Ellsbury and Justin Masterson were listed by Baseball America as top rookies at the break. Boston nearly had a pair this year as well, thanks to Felix Doubront, but he has accrued too much service time in past seasons to be eligible for the hypothetical squad. That being said, it's still good to see that he was even considered.