2012: 75 games, .288 BA, .325 OBP, .509 SLG, 15 HR, 54 RBI
2013 projection: 153 games, .277 BA, .316 OBP, .490 SLG, 29 HR, 99 RBI
In the total disappointment of last season, watching Will Middlebrooks rake was one of the bright spots. Of course, in keeping with the rest of the season, he eventually succumbed to an injury in the form of a broken right wrist.
Middlebrooks' success was the reason we initially said goodbye to Kevin Youkilis, but at this point I'm okay with it. We already watched Youkilis transform from a chubby kid with a weird batting stance into a bona fide slugger, a cleanup batter for a contender (still with a weird batting stance). Now I want to watch Middlebrooks grow into the MVP type player I know he can be.
Watching young players grow into their potential is one of the single greatest things about being a baseball fan, and we (and he!) got somewhat cheated of that when Middlebrooks broke his wrist last season. One of the things I'm looking forward to most in 2013 is watching a healthy Will Middlebrooks - it should be a lot of fun.