BoSox Breakdown - What's up with Middlebrooks' Swing?

Jim Monaghan
Contributing writer

Over the course of two seasons at the major league level, Will Middlebrooks has been something of an enigma. He's generally shown to be an above-average defensive third baseman with a strong arm, and at the plate he's shown an ability to hit for power. An injury ended his 2012 rookie season in mid-August and he spent the better part of the winter rehabbing in Boston.

The just-completed 2013 season was a mixed bag for Middlebrooks. Following some early season offensive struggles, he found himself back in AAA Pawtucket from late June until August 10.

In this debut edition of BoSox Breakdown, I take a look at some of the adjustments Middlebrooks made during this past season.

Major league pitchers have a mantra - "find the weakness...exploit the weakness." Every hitter has a hole somewhere in his swing; for Middlebrooks right now it appears to be that pitch on the outer part of the plate. Thus, three different approaches at the plate, and two within just a couple of weeks of each other. It's tough enough to hit at the major league level, let alone try to do it while adjusting your approach at the plate.

The guess here is that Middlebrooks spends the winter working on how he handles pitches on the outer third of the strike zone.

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