BOSTON (CBS) — Kevin Youkilis is no longer a member of the Red Sox, and it’s officially Will Middlebrooks’ time to shine. He’s already well on his way.

The 23-year-old third baseman was named American League Player of the Week on Monday for his performances against the Miami Marlins and Atlanta Braves at Fenway Park last week. In six games, he went 10-for-16 for an absurd .625 batting average. He drove in 10 runs while hitting three home runs and three doubles, posting a 2.007 OPS for the week.

In addition to the numbers, Middlebrooks played a major role in the Sox’ comeback victory over the Marlins on Thursday. He then finished a triple shy of the cycle on Saturday in an 8-4 win over Atlanta.

On the season, Middlebrooks is now hitting .326 with nine home runs and a .949 OPS in 41 games. Prior to getting called up to the majors in early May, he had been hitting .333 with nine home runs in just 24 games for Triple-A Pawtucket.

His emergence created a logjam at third base, eventually leading to the team’s trading of Youkilis on Sunday to the Chicago White Sox.


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