Will Middlebrooks Named A.L. Player of the Week
It’s is a little ironic that less than 24 hours after Kevin Youkilis is traded to the Chicago White Sox, his replacement is named American League Player of the Week.
Will Middlebrooks batted .625 (10-for-16) with three doubles, three homers, 10 RBI and six runs scored in six games. Among A.L. leaders, the 23-year-old finished tops in batting average, slugging percentage (1.375), on-base percentage (.632) and total bases (22), tied for second in doubles and extra-base hits (6) and tied for fourth in hits and homers.
Hours after his final hit at Fenway Park (his 953rd game with the Red Sox), Youkilis was dealt to the South Side of Chicago for pitcher Zach Stewart and infielder/outfielder Brent Lillibridge. Of the remaining $8 million on Youkilis’ contract, Boston is obligated to pay slightly more than $5.5 million.
Stewart, 25, has made 18 appearances with the White Sox this season and in 2011 made one start for Triple-A Charlotte, whom the PawSox host for a four-game series beginning Tuesday. The Red Sox have announced that the right-hander has been assigned to the PawSox.
Following the trade announcement, Middlebrooks said this on Twitter (@middlebrooks):
“It was truely an honor playing with and learning from Youk… He’s the definition of a professional. Played the game right. #RedSoxNation”
Middlebrooks’ emergence has been remarkable. Just recently, he became the 5th player since 1920 (when the RBI became official) with a .331 average, nine homers, and 33 RBI in his first 40 Major League games. The last player was Albert Pujols.
You can expect to hear plenty of “Youuuuk” calls when the White Sox travel to Fenway Park July 16-19.