Did We All Jump the Gun on Will Middlebrooks Being Red Sox's Next Great Star?

Chris Stephens@@chris_stephens6Correspondent IIJune 25, 2013

DETROIT, MI - JUNE 20:  Will Middlebrooks #16 of the Boston Red Sox sits in the dugout after a 4-3 loss to the Detroit Tigers at Comerica Park on June 20, 2013 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Duane Burleson/Getty Images)
Duane Burleson/Getty Images

Will Middlebrooks has been demoted to Triple-A, and it's starting to make fans wonder—did we jump the gun on crowning him the next big star of the Boston Red Sox?

According to ESPNBoston.com, Middlebrooks was demoted to Pawtucket on Tuesday.

Middlebrooks is a great talent, and he showed that in the minor leagues and in his first 40 games in the majors.

While in the minors in 2012, Middlebrooks batted .333 with nine home runs and 27 RBI.

In 75 games with the Red Sox last year, he batted .288 with 15 home runs and 54 RBI.

However, those stats don't tell the whole story.

In his first 40 games, Middlebrooks was nearly unstoppable, batting .331 with nine home runs and 33 RBI. However, over the next 35 games, he batted .240 with six home runs and 21 RBI.

This year, Middlebrooks has continued to struggle, batting .192 with nine home runs and 25 RBI. He's struggled even more lately, batting .155 since May 12.

The Red Sox had no choice but to demote him and move Jose Iglesias over to third base.

Will that be the end of the story for Middlebrooks? Or will he regain his swing and confidence and contribute to the Red Sox in 2014 and beyond?

Ben Buchanan of SB Nation thinks Middlebrooks can get it together and that people are just jumping the gun when they say he's a wash:

No matter how bad the numbers, though, it's still just two months. After a wrist injury, no less. If we let two months condemn a player with serious talent, Clay Buchholz would be in Texas. Jon Lester would be a Twin. And while I'm sure nobody was really thinking too hard about numbers like this at the time, Ted Williams started his career hitting .254/.303/.430 over 122 plate appearances in a league and on a team where Boston's .800 OPS was good for only a 100 OPS+.

Some fans may be willing to give up on Middlebrooks, but it would be wrong to do so.

He has 502 at-bats in his big league career and can get things together.

Just look at Chris Davis. He was considered a wash, but now he's flourishing.

While I'm not saying Middlebrooks will become like Davis, it's important to note that most people had written him off.

The Texas Rangers are likely hating that they gave up on him so quickly. So too could the Red Sox in the case of Middlebrooks.

We may have jumped the gun on him being the next great star, but fans and writers do that when someone starts off so well for a team.

We've seen that be the case for Yasiel Puig this year. He's started well, but will he keep it up? If not, then the same questions about Middlebrooks could be brought up about Puig.

The point is, we all love to hype up players. But then we trash them when they start to do bad.

Give it time, and Middlebrooks will develop into a good MLB player. He might not be the star everyone hoped for, but he'll end up being good at the big league level.


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