For all of the hubbub regarding Jackie Bradley Jr. and whether he belongs in the majors, there’s a Red Sox player with recent perspective on making that leap.

Only one year ago, after all, third baseman Will Middlebrooks was opening enough eyes during spring training to make it clear he was ready for the big leagues. He instead opened the season at Triple-A Pawtucket, where he hit .333 with nine homers in just 100 plate appearances, making his promotion a slam dunk when the Sox needed a replacement for Kevin Youkilis in May.

Middlebrooks ran with that opportunity, hitting .288 with an .835 OPS as a rookie. And now as he prepares for his second season, it’s as one of the key bats in the middle of the Red Sox lineup.

“I needed every at-bat I had in the minors,” Middlebrooks said of starting the season in Pawtucket. “The year before, I had kind of figured out an approach and a routine, and I was able to make that more of a habit so when I got here, I was able to hit the ground running.”

Middlebrooks was asked if he felt he would have been as successful had he opened the season in the majors.

“I don’t think it would’ve been any different,” he said. “It would’ve been about the same. I was seeing the ball really well when the season started. Baseball’s baseball. The talent level’s not that different at Triple A, just the consistency.”