You’ll be hard pressed to find many hitters in the minors hotter than Red Sox third baseman Will Middlebrooks. The 23-year-old hit his eighth home run of the year for Triple-A Pawtucket on Monday, moving him into a tie for the second in the minors in homers.
Middlebrooks cracked 20 homers last year between Double-A and Triple-A, and he held his own in big league spring training this year, batting .300 (6-for-20) in 10 games while impressing with his power to all fields. Middlebrooks has kept that good feeling going in the regular season, now hitting .371/.413/.757 through 70 at-bats for the PawSox.
Middlebrooks has been known as a streaky hitter, though he was productive more consistently last year, and 2012 so far has been one continuous hot streak. Middlebrooks has gone hitless just four times in 18 games, while he’s homered seven times in his last 10 games. Included in that stretch was a streak of four consecutive games with a homer from April 18-21. He also can hit balls out in any direction, and true to form, the righthanded swinger has hit four of his eight homers to center or right field.