Boston Red Sox third baseman Will Middlebrooks’ confidence wasn’t damaged by his rocky 2013 season.
Middlebrooks’ 2013 campaign was plagued by inconsistency, resulting in a midseason demotion and him losing his starting job to rookie Xander Bogaerts during the playoffs. But, while Middlebrooks acknowledges he’d like to perform better on a personal level in 2014, the 25-year-old said he isn’t too rattled by last season’s struggles because he always has high expectations for himself.
“I don’t have anything to say to critics,” Middlebrooks recently told the Boston Herald’s Jen Royle. “I feel like I’m my biggest critic, so that’s the only one I’m worried about. It’s not a confidence thing. I had a down year. That’s what happens in baseball. If you look at everyone’s baseball card, just about everyone’s had one.”
Middlebrooks, who hit .288 with 15 homers and 54 RBIs in 75 games upon bursting onto the scene in 2012, hit .227 with 17 homers and 49 RBIs in 94 games last season. Middlebrooks is expected to be the Red Sox’s starting third baseman in 2014, though, and it sounds like he’s ready to accept the challenge with as much confidence as ever.
Check out the video below to hear Middlebrooks discuss the upcoming season, Bogaerts’ emergence, his early days in the majors and his first notable purchase upon reaching the bigs.