Phillies sign former Red Sox top prospect Will Middlebrooks
One team’s bust could be the Phillies treasure next season
After signing reliever Steve Geltz to a minor league deal the Phillies reportedly agreed to a minor league deal with third baseman Will Middlebrooks.
Middlebrooks was the Boston Red Sox number one overall prospect in 2011, and had a decent amount of success in his first two major league seasons with Boston. In his first 169 major league games Middlebrooks hit 32 home runs with a .254 batting average and a .756 OPS with the Red Sox while winning a World Series ring in 2013.
Little has gone well for Middlebrooks since his first two season, and he now joins his fifth organization in as many years.
Third base depth isn’t the Phillies strong suit entering 2018, making Middlebrooks the perfect addition via a minor league deal. Last year the IronPigs had three players man third base in at least 25 games, none of which are major league prospects. Cole Stobbe is the only natural third baseman on the Phillies top-30 prospect ranking, but he projects to play as high as Single-A in 2018 at the age of 20.
Middlebrooks could conceivably compete for a major league bench job in spring training, but he’s likely to be the IronPigs starting third baseman. Just 29-years-old Middlebrooks is still fairly young, but he’s one of the bigger busts in recent history. At one point he was rated higher than Jose Iglesias in the Red Sox organization and two spots behind Nolan Arrenado on the top-10 third base prospect rankings.
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At worst Middlebrooks starts at third base all year for Lehigh Valley and makes an occasional appearance in Philadelphia. It’s a smart, thrifty move by the organization at a dead point in the offseason.