Who Will Play Third Base For The Rest Of This Season?
In nearly every way, last night’s trade for Jake Peavy was a steal for the Red Sox. While the White Sox were asking for a top prospects and two-three more impact prospects just a few days ago, the Red Sox acquired Peavy for Jose Iglesias and three minor prospects. The absence of Jose Iglesias, who was beginning to slow down with the bat after a phenomenal start, does open up a hole at third base for the rest of the season, however. The candidates appear to be Will Middlebrooks, Xander Bogaerts, and Brock Holt at the moment: let’s take a look at our options.
Jul 14, 2013; Oakland, CA, USA; Boston Red Sox third baseman Brock Holt (26) hits an RBI single against the Oakland Athletics during the seventh inning at O.co Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports
Brock Holt is the safe option in this scenario. He does not present a whole lot of upside; however, he has shown that he can get the job done at the major league level as a utility man. He has a career slash line of .292/.330/.333 in 34 MLB games, 10 of which came with the Red Sox, where he has slashed .290/.333/.290. However, Ben Cherington mentioned the word “talent” while discussing whom the Red Sox might bring up and while Holt is talented in his own right, he does not provide the glamor or upside of Middlebrooks or Bogaerts.
June 20, 2013; Detroit, MI, USA; Boston Red Sox third baseman Will Middlebrooks (16) makes a throw to first to get Detroit Tigers right fielderTorii Hunter
(not pictured) out in the first inning at Comerica Park. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports
An affliction endured by many, Middlebrooks has been hit especially hard by the dreaded sophomore slump. After raising fans’ hopes with a .288/.325/.509 slash line in 75 games of his rookie year last year, he has slashed just .192/.228/.389 so far. Because of his struggles, he has spent a fair amount of time down in Pawtucket, where he has not done much to restore faith with a .257/.323/.451 slash line. The improved walk rate is a good sign, but Middlebrooks is decidedly not where he needs to be. However, Cherington and Farrell have hinted that it may be Middlebrooks that is recalled from Pawtucket to fill the vacancy.
As a fan, my pick for this promotion would have to be Xander Bogaerts. He is the most exciting prospect that the Red Sox have had in a long, long time. He is currently just 20 years old– the youngest player in the International League– and is slashing .273/.381/.473 with Triple-A Pawtucket. His bat is ready to play third base for the Boston Red Sox. However, I’m not s