It was with a bit of disappointment that we watched Wil Middlebrooks get called up from Triple-A instead of the Dashing Dutchman. In all fairness, they were putting up almost the same numbers at Pawtucket. In almost the same amount of plate appearances this season in Triple-A, Xander Bogaerts had a better average (.289 to .268), a better on-base percentage (.376 to .327) and a better slugging percentage (.469 to .464).
It was not age, with Xander Bogaerts being only 20 years old. It was more in the interest of the Red Sox to call up the better defensive third baseman when given the choice. Wil Middlebrooks has been a third baseman his entire career, but Xander Bogaerts has only been moonlighting for a short while in Triple-A at the position.
The Red Sox still consider Xander Bogaerts the long term shortstop contender, but have him splitting time in the Minors between that position and third base for now. Should Wil Middlebrooks struggle down the line, they could very well be calling up the Dashing Dutchman.
So what does Wil Middlebrooks think of Xander Bogaerts having seen him close up in Triple-A?
When asked in an interview he stated that he was "...convinced that Bogaerts' potential is as special as advertised." He also mentioned that he did not consider himself to be in competition with Xander Bogaerts for third base.
He has got to be kidding himself, as the reasons for not calling up Xander Bogaerts are getting to be few and far between as player after player fails to produce from the hot corner.
For now we remain on the edge of our seats, watching each game for hot corner productivity.
Pay attention Mr. Middlebrooks, you hear the knocking at the door from here.
Eric is a contributing writer since 2013 and a true Overseas Fan of the Boston Red Sox living in the Netherlands. He's spent years on baseball fields around the world pitching. His weekends are now spent helping the next generations of pitchers to find their passion and love for the sport. More articles by Eric: https://www.redsoxlife.com/search/label/ericschabell