Middlebrooks Talks About His Hot Start

Last week I wrote about the terrific start Will Middlebrooks is having to this 2012 season. Since that time Will has played even better and is downright dominating International League pitching. Over the first 14 games of the season, the PawSox third baseman is batting .368 (21-for-57) with five home runs and 16 runs batted in. He has gone hitless in just three games and has at least two hits in 8-of-14 starts.

Middlebrooks has proven the ability to go deep to all fields: three homers to left, one to center, and one to right. In an interview I did with Will yesterday, he told me that if he could draw up a perfect pitch to see, it would be right down the middle. “I can do anything with it,” he said. “If it’s off-speed I can go to left, if it’s a really good fastball you can go to right.”

(Of course, as I was interviewing Middlebrooks in the dugout, the Syracuse grounds crew began mowing the grass directly in front of us. Sorry for the additional background noise.)

I was eager to ask Will about his work at third base – something that often gets overlooked because of his great offensive numbers.

“I take tons of pride in my defensive play,” he told me. “When I moved from shortstop to third base after my first year of pro ball, I swore I wanted to be one of the best third basemen in the game, and that’s something I work on day-in and day-out.”

The All-Star third baseman went on to credit current Angels’ field coordinator, and former Lowell Spinners manager, Gary DiSarcina for much of his defensive development.

Will, who has 11 hits over his last six games, takes the field tonight as the PawSox return home after a highly successful 7-2 road trip. First pitch against Durham is set for 6:15. We hit the air with the pre-game show at 6:00.

Talk with you then,

-AG

@aaronmgoldsmith
agoldsmith@pawsox.com

Middlebrooks had just nine hits in 16 games when called up to Pawtucket late last season. He has already managed 21 hits in 14 games in 2012. (Kelly O'Connor)

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