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KFFL Baseball Analysis Draft and Expert League
Wed May 2, 2012 1:01am|
By Tim Heaney
Your fantasy baseball cheat sheets are no longer of use. KFFL.com's Fantasy Baseball Diamond Market gives you candid reviews and ratings of fantasy baseball players making MLB news in your rotisserie or head-to-head baseball league. We'll help you decide whether they're trade bait or worth your FAAB dollars in your fantasy baseball games.
In a move that indicates Kevin Youkilis (back stiffness) will sit out a bit longer if not land on the disabled list, the Boston Red Sox will call up hot cornerman Will Middlebrooks from Triple-A Pawtucket in the near future. He's traveling to be with the club and will await their instructions.
Following up on his 23-homer 2011, the 23-year-old (6-foot-4, 225 pounds) has nine in 93 Pawtucket at-bats while essentially hitting off a tee: .333/.380/.677 with 27 RBIs and three swipes. After drawing 26 walks in 439 at-bats through three minor league stops last year, he already has earned seven in 93, showing progress in his plate discipline.
KFFL prospect guru Chris Hadorn lauds Middlebrooks' plate coverage and all-fields approach, which despite limiting his short-term power potential could ease the transition to facing big-league pitching and fantasy utility.
The preseason feeling was that Middlebrooks would spend a full season developing among International Leaguers. Ergo, Boston's desire to summon him likely means a Youk-less 3B is his to lose, making him a deep mixed CI addition and bringing joy to his AL-only stashers.
Even with his improved patience, rough spots will come, and even if Youk is sidelined, Boston has versatile alternatives in Mike Aviles and Nick Punto if Middlebrooks scuffles. But if he accrues close to a full season, expect low double-digit homers with a capable (not excellent) clip along some tasty trimmings that come from this lineup.
Downside for 2012: an expensive two-week rental. Upside: a shade below the 2011 Eric Hosmer. Expect something in the middle.