Don't be shellfish...Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+

I have been put to the task of writing a sleeper post about Will Middlebrooks. Sorry guys, it’s the intern, J-FOH here, filling in for the man with the stache that launched a thousand ships. Hey, the man is busy, he’s a writer, husband, dog owner, constant flavor changing vaporbator, and stalker of Giancarlo Stanton. He’s only human and he needs some help from time to time. I’ve had to move the new furniture in his place three times since the wedding as the coug tries to find the right “flow” for their place. I am here to fill in and try to convince you all that 3rd base is really deep this year and that you can wait in your draft to get some really nice upside. Lets’s take a quick peek into how deep it is.

After the top four (using Grey’s ranks as a baseline) of Miguel Cabrera, Evan Longoria, Adrian Beltre, and David Wrightwe start getting into some pretty choppy waters with waves that look like question marks and sharks ready to mistake us for seals. Ryan Zimmerman is an injury prone professional mess, any player whose analysis starts with an “IF” is someone I’ll pass on that high in the draft. Josh Donaldson was a “SURPRISE” last year and is set to bat out of the two hole. Pedro Alvarez strikes out a ton and can’t hit lefties ala Shin-Soo Choo. Matt Carpenter, who is fine as your second baseman, was the benefactor of hitting in front of four guys that hit .300 last year (OK, Carlos Beltran hit .296, but you get my point), and, just thinking about Kyle Seager has made me nod off three times trying to write this sentence. You got it… good! After that we have by my best estimates 8-9 guys you can reasonably use and one of Grey’s, uh, I mean, one of my personal favorites, Mr. Will Middlebrooks.

Will Middlebrooks came into 2013 with his own sleeper post and a projected stat line of 68/22/82/.278/8. Grey predicted a 17% HR/FB rate and he ended up with a 17.2%. Good call boss! He gave him a projection of 22 HR with 24 being a realistic stretch and ended up with 17, but that 17 came in 348 AB’s. So if he get’s the 550 AB’s, which is very reasonable, he projects to about 27 HR’s in 2013. Grey was not that far off if Middlebrooks doesn’t get sent down.  Basically, if he doesn’t get his head stuck where the sun don’t shine we get 25+ HR’s, and we draft him in the 10th round this year. We saw his BABIP drop from a .335 to .263 (72 points if you’re scoring from home) so luck was definitely not in his favor. Upon his return from his trip to the minors, he came out of the gate on fire and hitting with discipline, 2/1 K/BB ratio and .322 AVG. Then came September and back to his old self, 22/3 K/BB and a .244 AVG, but he did hit 6 HR’s the last month of the year and had a combined 2 month line of 22/8/24/.275/3. I think this season a .260 hitter with upside to Grey’s prediction of .270 seems absolutely reasonable.

Hmmm, I’ve thrown all these numbers at you like a late night infomercial trying to get you out of debt  but what does this all mean J-FOH? *calls Sky, no answer* *flop sweat starts flowing* It means he’s not as bad as he was last year and if his BABIP comes up to normal levels(.300+) he’s a cheaper version of Pedro Alvarez.  A high K, low walk, lots of HR’s hitter that goes through some awesome streaks of ridiculous power and horrendous streaks of 0-50! I don’t think Pedro is a 35+ HR hitter, I think 30 is more reasonable, and I’m not saying he and Middlebrooks will have the same RBI totals, but Pedro is going around the 7th round and Middlebrooks is in 14th-16th round territory. I’m predicting a difference of 5 HR’s between the two. I don’t want you guys and four girl readers getting me wrong, I don’t hate Pedro, but like Domonic Brown, who is also  being over drafted (both had two of the most ridiculous months of 2013). I would rather grab my SP2, a really good closer, or  Wilin Rosario or Carlos Santana in the 7th and wait later to get my 3rd baseman. If you are worried about Middlebrooks, then cover yourself by drafting Cody Asche in the 22nd and insure him.

From Around The Web

  1. Shake N Bacon says:
    (link)

    I’m a believer! But backing him up with someone like Asche/Moustakas/Dominquez is good insurance.

    Here’s hoping that Stephen Drew continues to NOT be on the Red Sox roster so Xander sticks at SS and Middlebrooks gets a fair shake at 3B for the entire year.

    I hope you’re wearing your lifting belt when moving around all that furniture. Lift with your legs bro!

    • J-FOH says:
      (link)

      @Shake N Bacon: Drew screws everything up.
      I wear two belts and bring my dolly

  2. Good stuff J-OH – definitely one of the more appealing, ‘back-end’ 3Bs to wait on… as I sit here, I’m soon to draft in a h2h traditional 5×5 20-teamer. Curious – what would be your biggest change in draft strategy moving to a league this size? contemplating punting C and possible Saves & just rely on the wire/set up guys.. (don’t know which pick I am until 30 mins prior, and it’s a 30-second pick timer which is quite dark…)

    Thanks for any pointers

    • J-FOH says:
      (link)

      @Sheriff McRawDawg: I don’t think it changes too much in terms of strategy. Your optimism needs to be in check, meaning that reaching too high for upside could kill you….EVERY PICK COUNTS, and don’t pass up value for positional need. Read the room and see where others are punting as well. You might get a steal on a closer or two and have to adjust your strategy. If this is 5 OF, then keep in mind guys like Parra, Lake and Dickerson. Also guys that split time can also be valuable like an Ethier or Schuck. One last thing I learned in playing a 20 team before was be weary of guys with innings limits because come playoff time they are done and the free agents will all be picked over by then. Good luck and post your team when it’s over. May the Razzforce be with you!

      • @J-FOH: hey man thanks for everything – not too pumped about the team, but I’ll hold my end up and post this sonbitch:

        I will preface this and say a good 3-4 things did not go my way (someone beat me to Gyorko in the 5th, so I panicked and took Hill). Biggest cockup – I got freaking booted from the draft room in the 11th, and had Moustakas lined up for way later (as middlebrooks went in the 10th!) so it autodrafted him there when Frazier would’ve been doable.

        C – Wieters
        1B – Pujols
        2B – Hill
        3B – Moustakas
        SS – Segura
        OF – Adam Jones
        OF – Heyward
        OF – Garcia
        UTIl – Matt Dominguez
        BN – Yonder Alonso

        SP – Cobb
        SP – Cingrani
        SP – Archer
        RP – Henderson
        RP – Soria
        P – Nova
        P – Tillman
        BN – Josh Fields
        BN – Paxton

        Very curious to see what your thoughts are now – I have no clue where Josh Fields is in the pecking order out in Houston, but most handcuffs-of-handcuffs have been drafted as well. Hoping to get lucky with either him or Soria.

        And would you stay the course with Paxton over Syndergaard right now?

        The “hottest” bats on the wire: ibanez, cozart, bourjos, lake, reynolds (?), scooter, ruggiano, nick franklin (possibly in DET?), Saunders, Beckham, Stubbs…

        pitchers – Joe Kelly, Niese, Santiago, Doubront, Wandy, Erasmo, Wily Peralta, or Sergio Santos as another handcuff?

        • J-FOH says:
          (link)

          @Sheriff McRawDawg: not a fan of Yonder, I like Lake and Bourjos better than him. Pitching looks OK, but I would rather have Erasmo over Nova for upside, what you will need. Follow Janseen to make sure he’s ready for opening day, Santos would be the add if he’s hurt. I doubt Soria gets the job, but he’s a hold for now.

          • @J-FOH: Ok thanks. turns out Asche is on waivers too – drop yonder for him? would rather not have 3 3B like that, but it might be worth a shot.

            thanks again

    • Wallpaper Paterson says:
      (link)

      @Sheriff McRawDawg:

      Do not take chances. Stick to known commodities. In a 20-team h2h you should be at least .500. It will then be up to you to make a few adds here and there and a good trade or two. Let other people stash guys like Buxton and Syndergaard and pay a price for it for most of the season.

      • J-FOH says:
        (link)

        @Wallpaper Paterson: good points about stashing, I like Syndergaard as a stash this year, but if you draft the right way it works.

  3. Wallpaper Paterson says:
    (link)

    It would be nice to pick this guy or any guy.

    I still don’t have a league. I tried doing an RCL last week. Clicked on the link, was on the Google doc, and then nothing. I did this at my parents place. I imagine an invite or whatever may have been sent to my mother’s email address. Whatever. Doesn’t matter now. The ship has sailed. I will have to join a RCL that drafts late morning either day of next weekend.

    I am also up for starting a keeper league next weekend. I have a few who would join, but would need to find another 8 or 9 people.

      • Wallpaper Paterson says:
        (link)

        @J-FOH: no. When I clicked “click here” and got taken to the Google doc, I saw my mom’s email address in the upper right corner. I also saw Grey was also logged on. I imagine an invite was then sent to my mom’s email account. I didn’t bother to check or even ask if she received some email from a fantasy baseballer.

        I had set up the league for a draft this past Wednesday. League never got advertised though. I suppose I could try again from my own computer or my phone.

        • Mike

          Mike says:
          (link)

          Jesus, Patterson. I’m about to open up a vein over here. I’m up for your keeper league if you’ve got a spot for me. I love keepers.

          • J-FOH says:
            (link)

            @Mike: HA! He needs an internet hug or something

            • Wallpaper Paterson says:
              (link)

              @J-FOH: No. Not really. A huge part of it is that my availability is a problem. My wife works in a hospital and she has three 12-hour shifts per week. Two other nights she goes to school and I have to watch our son. There are five nights a week where I really cannot draft. I have come across a dozen or so leagues that I turned down because I would have had to autodraft. That is no way to draft.

              • J-FOH says:
                (link)

                @Wallpaper Paterson: I’m still giving you an over the internet hug *hugs screen*. Yeah it sucks when time is not on your side. I think the best thing is to create your own RCL and choose a time that works for you, that way you make sure it fits into your life. You can still do it. Jaywrong says teams that draft after the Dodgers/D-Backs series will have their stats count.

                • Aubrey Plaza's Pillow says:
                  (link)

                  @J-FOH: or have one of us draft your team (assuming we aren’t also in your league, of course)

  4. IHellaHeartJFOH says:
    (link)

    Hi J-FOH!

    I see you brought the goods again this week (and by goods I mean GREATS!). Sounds like everyone at the Razzball offices is really busy these days. I am too. So I’m trying not to set my personal expectations too high on how strong I finish in my leagues this year. Middle of the pack is A-Ok with me! That’s funny that Gray likes dogs. More of a cat man myself – Sue Me! (Please Don’t, I was just J/K).

    Anyways, I just joined a second league (what am I, CRAZY?) with some work buddies so i have been thinking long and hard about “hot corner” guys and then BOOM, this article appears (COSMIC!). We decided on a slow draft for this 8-teamer because everyone around the shop is crazy busy right now – As they say, “drop your socks and grab your mops, boys!”

    I was almost bitten by a shark IRL one time myself (don’t even ask) so I’m going to be really careful in the third base waters this year. Daddy likey what he is reading here about Mr. Will Middlebrooks. Good call J-FOH! I look forward to next week’s article on sleeper (not sleeping – Wake Up!) pitchers. I’m going to draft heavy on the SPs and stay away from those pesky MRs.

    Cheers!

    • Prez!! says:
      (link)

      @IHellaHeartJFOH: died… Literally dead right now…

      • J-FOH says:
        (link)

        @Prez!!: I think he’s in the wrong business

        • Prez!! says:
          (link)

          @J-FOH: what field do you see him getting into?

          • J-FOH says:
            (link)

            @Prez!!: Satirical comedy writing

            • de nachos says:
              (link)

              @J-FOH: such gold. former speechwriter for Hugo Chavez?

              • J-FOH says:
                (link)

                @de nachos: probably Mauricio Funes

    • Wake Up says:
      (link)

      @IHellaHeartJFOH: I’m hella allergic to cats and even hella more allergic to people who say hella…keep my name out your mouth…you weirdo!

      • J-FOH says:
        (link)

        @Wake Up: I h***a agree with you

  5. Beastman says:
    (link)

    For someone so full of hate, that’s a lotta love for Middlebrooks. As a sox fan, I think he should have a solid year, hopefully can get on base at a higher rate than Alvarez. Not great for OBP leagues but for the price he’s going, excellent value.

    • J-FOH says:
      (link)

      @Beastman: wait til his first 0-25 streak, then the hate will flow

  6. Prez!! says:
    (link)

    Great article doode.

    • J-FOH says:
      (link)

      @Prez!!: thanks doode, I got your moobs held hostage on my team, Wake wants him, but I feel you get first shot #Buffets4Life

      • Prez!! says:
        (link)

        @J-FOH: hell yeah i got reservations for him like he has at golden corral. #buffets4life

        • J-FOH says:
          (link)

          @Prez!!: he has his own seat in the VIP section. When he walks in he gets to go front of the line and they just bill him at the end of the month.

        • Wake Up says:
          (link)

          @Prez!!: I feel I should have equal access to Madam Mips…did we forget where the Mips came from ya’ll???

          • J-FOH says:
            (link)

            @Wake Up: do I hear a Mips off on the horizon?

  7. Big Magoo

    Big Magoo says:
    (link)

    @J-FOH: @Prez!!: If you want moobs, all you have to do is load up on beer and fried foods. Simple as that. #moobs4life

    • J-FOH says:
      (link)

      @Big Magoo: my A-cups have been a combination of fried foods, pizzas, bad chinese takeout and donut shops. A sedentary lifestyle is also a big plus in moob development

  8. mattH says:
    (link)

    Nice write-up, J-FOH. You like Middlebrooks or Arenado?

    • J-FOH says:
      (link)

      @mattH: depends on need, if you are drafting them you are getting them later. If you need more power and can absorb the average hit then Middlebrooks, but if you are good on power and need a more well rounded 3rd baseman then Arrendado. if everything is equal then arendado.

  9. Birdmann says:
    (link)

    I need to get Middlebrooks and Asche so I will be guaranteed one of the 3B breakouts. Already picked up Nolan, Sucks no more Ass and Frazier in other leagues(actually all in one). One of them will out perform Zimm, Sleepy Sea, and PedroK mark my word and for a way better price on draft day. With all of this wait and see with 3B on Razzball what round do see all of these sleepers going in RCL’s drafting this week?

    • J-FOH says:
      (link)

      @Birdmann:
      I think you meant MostSuckAss but I got where you were going. Gauging where in a draft can be hard with Arendado because I have seen him drafted as high as 9th, by Sky, and as low as 13. It’s about how the room plays it, if you see lots of guys going high on potential breakouts then I would think Arendado would be higher.

      Middlebrooks, Frazier – 13th to 16th
      Moustakas and Asche – 17th to the end

  10. Sky

    Sky says:
    (link)

    I taught you well. And by that I mean I didn’t read it and just went straight to the comments section. Wait, that’s what you taught me. You’re rubbing off on me, JFOH. It’s kinda gross. You should see a dermatologist about that.

    Jokes aside, Will is definitely going later than I expected him to in drafts. Its like people forgot the every player from Boston and New York needed to be drafted in the first 10 rounds of every fantasy draft. The world has gone mad and you’re here getting them to collect the benefits. Good on you. Now go get my latte. And make sure it’s not foamy. You know how foam makes me gassy.

    • J-FOH says:
      (link)

      @Sky:

      Might want to look into some antibiotics and a low dose of some steroids for a while…..and wash your hands a lot, it spreads

      I thought you didn’t read it because that way you could tell me you’re proud of me for all the good work and then wouldn’t be lying when you said it. Ignorance is bliss!

      I agree, I think perception can be a pain in the Asche. Will deserves more love especially in the Eastern Seaboard, c’mon ESTers. Especially in 5 OF formats, there is enough depth in pitching and OF that you should grab him before your 4th OF, unless the draft gives you four sweet steals at OF, but you get the point. Wait why am I telling you this? You’re my Obi Wan and I’m some random boy wandering the desert with my sweet raven colored locks of velvet that you hand picked to be the latest tomato ducker in here……BTW, I’ve been putting no dose in your coffees

      • Sky

        Sky says:
        (link)

        @J-FOH: That would explain the itching and listening to Jazz at 3 am. Doesn’t explain the erection that won’t go down though. Side effect? Read the warning label to me.

        The joy and the agony of writing my posts in January is that I don’t know how the rest of the world will really see some guys until the posts go live. Next year we’ll have to talk to Grey about some reactionary posts to Spring things. Dee Gordon probably won’t get a sleeper post but he may end up being a major value in any draft that’s had before too long here.

        • J-FOH says:
          (link)

          @Sky: I see no erection side effects, I think the wife slipped you a “stiffy”

          Grey kind of covers this in his rundowns about spring stuff going on but I hear ya on the “Diving off the SPRINGboard series” It’s an idea

  11. de nachos says:
    (link)

    Another small factor in his low stock could be his less than stellar post season. Did I read his WS stats right, only 2 at bats? Out of sight, out of my mind, how could I have ever been so blind there Fastball. Excellent article, I award you $1000 extra OTS tourney dollars.

    • J-FOH says:
      (link)

      @de nachos: thanks buddy. World series may be it. The batting average may be it without considering the huge drop in babip. Peception sucks unless it makes you look good.

  12. Charlie Stache says:
    (link)

    What do you think of rostering Aramis Ramirez over Middlebooks in a shallow 10-team keeper?

    • J-FOH says:
      (link)

      @Charlie Stache: I like middlebrooks. Aramis is getting over drafted

  13. Wake Up says:
    (link)

    Just got back from checking some of his most vital stats:

    1. His FLUBLIP looks a little unrepeatable
    2. Balls to the left side of the infield with runners on second was “a little on the lucky side”
    3. His sideline reporter bangage seems very sustainable
    4. Re-checking on #1…it may actually be PILBULF…and in that case…I see no reason…

    • J-FOH says:
      (link)

      @Wake Up:
      1. It’s a blunder out there
      2. Ah, the Ike Davis factor, good catch
      3. she’s quite the hooker…um I mean looker
      4. I think 3 is the wildcard if he gets traded.

  14. Dave The BArber says:
    (link)

    What’s the verdict on Venable?

      • Dave The BArber says:
        (link)

        @J-FOH: He keeps going undrafted in 12 team mocks. Is he not worth a draft pick? He was 20/20 last year no?

        • J-FOH says:
          (link)

          @Dave The BArber: he’s a 4th OF in 5 OF sets and a 2nd UTIL/3rd OF. depending on how you drafted in 3OF/2Util leagues. mid to late teens for me

          • Dave The BArber says:
            (link)

            @J-FOH: thanks bub

  15. Subs81 says:
    (link)

    12 team rediculous inflation cause there are 10 keepers/ team. NL with a 14 roster plus 14 bench players inc minors. I’m keeping7 SO FAR— goldschmidt 5, mccutchen 35, Craig16, pederson5, cashner 9, j grey 5, otani2(Japan)-maybe–,
    Question is.
    These next r on the bubble so who do I keep and should I keep more and drop a listed keeper?
    Minors stay at salary till not a rookie others get a 5 raise each year….
    2014 salaries listed below.
    Arenando 20
    Redndn 20
    Cueto25
    Hembree7
    V roache 2(mil)
    Thorn erg 7
    C torres 6
    Black 7
    Jj Hoover 7

  16. J-FOH says:
    (link)

    That’s a lot for Pederson considering he’s got no job and the outlook is not good for playing time in the future. A trade away from the Dodgers will be good for him .I like Arendado and Roache. Hembree is interesting long term. Honestly, I would ask Scott this question, he is our resident Prospect whisperer and I defer to him. http://razzball.com/author/scott-evans/

  17. Hoog says:
    (link)

    Hey J-Foh, need help picking my keepers. It’s an auction league w/ a $260 budget. I have 5 spots with Harper ($1), Puig ($0), and Jose Fernandez ($0) set. Need help with the other two spots: 1 hitter and 1 pitcher. Pitcher Options are Scherzer @ $9, Cobb @ $0, Shelby Miller @ $0. Hitter options are Carpenter @ $0, Cespedes @ $3, and Desmond @ $12.

    I’m thinking Scherzer or Cobb at SP and Desmond as the hitter. What do you think?

  18. J-FOH says:
    (link)

    Cobb, Cespedes

  19. George says:
    (link)

    Ok – as a Red Sox guy and owner of Will Middlebrooks on one of my teams, any time someone writes about Mr. Middlebrooks, I am interested.

    I have Middlebrooks, Chris Johnson and if need be Profar ready to start for me at 3B this year in our keeper league.

    I have Johnson as my $4.5 million safety valve, Profar as a guy who can start at 2B/SS/3B and Middlebrooks. I am not starting Middlebrooks and going with Johnson unless Johnson starts slow. And if Johnson starts slow, I am still looking at Profar ahead of Middlebrooks until Middlebrooks learns how to have better plate discipline, especially on the slider.

    If Middlebrooks demonstrates plate discipline on that slider, then he is going to be a tough out because his BABIP, for example, would increase if he lowered his ground ball rate.

    With that said – I would love to get 75/25/75/.270 from him while not getting in the prolonged slumps that have caused him to land on my bench.

    We’ll see….

    • J-FOH says:
      (link)

      @George: I think last year is not a good baseline. Going forward a little healthy optimism is needed. His minor league babip adjusts to above .300. I think the lower spot in the order will take pressure off him. He’s a streaky hitter and you need to play him when he’s on one

Comments are closed.