Biographical

Portrait of Michael Brantley

Michael Brantley LFIndians

Indians Player Cards | Indians Team Audit | Indians Depth Chart

2018 Projections (Rest of Season Projections - seasonal age 31)
PA AVG HR R RBI SB TAv WARP
274 .293 6 37 29 7 .275 1.4
Birth Date5-15-1987
Height6' 2"
Weight200 lbs
Age31 years, 2 months, 6 days
BatsL
ThrowsL
6.12014
3.12015
-0.12016
1.92017
2.82018
+proj
WARP Summary

MLB Statistics

YEAR TEAM AGE G PA AB R H 2B 3B HR TB BB SO HBP SF SH RBI SB CS AVG OBP SLG TAv VORP FRAA WARP
2009 CLE 22 28 121 112 10 35 4 0 0 39 8 19 0 0 1 11 4 4 .312 .358 .348 .244 0.5 -2.6 -0.2
2010 CLE 23 72 325 297 38 73 9 3 3 97 22 38 0 2 4 22 10 2 .246 .296 .327 .222 0.4 -5.0 -0.5
2011 CLE 24 114 496 451 63 120 24 4 7 173 34 76 3 5 3 46 13 5 .266 .318 .384 .250 7.5 -2.7 0.5
2012 CLE 25 149 609 552 63 159 37 4 6 222 53 56 0 4 0 60 12 9 .288 .348 .402 .271 27.6 -13.0 1.5
2013 CLE 26 151 611 556 66 158 26 3 10 220 40 67 4 8 3 73 17 4 .284 .332 .396 .271 21.0 4.3 2.8
2014 CLE 27 156 676 611 94 200 45 2 20 309 52 56 8 5 97 23 1 .327 .385 .506 .320 57.7 -2.2 6.1
2015 CLE 28 137 596 529 68 164 45 0 15 254 60 51 2 5 0 84 15 1 .310 .379 .480 .294 28.9 -0.3 3.1
2016 CLE 29 11 43 39 5 9 2 0 0 11 3 6 0 1 0 7 1 0 .231 .279 .282 .207 -1.0 0.3 -0.1
2017 CLE 30 90 375 338 47 101 20 1 9 150 31 50 2 4 0 52 11 1 .299 .357 .444 .275 13.7 5.2 1.9
2018 CLE 31 84 372 341 55 105 25 1 12 168 25 31 2 4 0 56 6 3 .308 .355 .493 .286 17.1 -3.6 1.4
Career9924224382650911242371882164332845021381150811230.294.350.429.276173.4-19.616.5

Statistics for All Levels

'opp' stats - Quality of opponents faced - have been moved and are available only as OPP_QUAL in the Statistics reports now.
Minor league stats are currently shownClick to hide.
YEAR Team Lg G PA TAv oppAVG oppOBP oppSLG oppTAv BABIP BPF BRAA repLVL POS_ADJ FRAA BRR BVORP BWARP VORP WARP
2005 HEL Rk 10 40 .314 .287 .374 .438 .285 .367 105 1.6 0.8 -0.1 -1.2 -0.1 2.1 0.1 2.1 0.1
2006 WVA A 108 435 .301 .258 .336 .380 .264 .344 110 15 10.1 -2.2 -15.4 -0.1 22.8 0.8 22.8 0.8
2007 WVA A 56 255 .304 .271 .345 .415 .268 .364 111 12.4 7.6 -3.8 0.6 0.3 16.5 1.7 16.5 1.7
2007 HUN AA 59 223 .253 .263 .336 .399 .264 .281 95 -1.9 7.5 -1.8 2.1 2.3 6.0 0.8 6.0 0.8
2008 HUN AA 106 479 .274 .271 .347 .406 .257 .332 108 7.6 14.1 -1.8 9.2 2.8 22.8 3.2 22.8 3.2
2009 CLE MLB 28 121 .244 .263 .328 .415 .255 .376 102 -2.1 3.5 0 -2.6 -0.9 0.5 -0.2 0.5 -0.2
2009 COH AAA 116 528 .245 .262 .331 .391 .248 .282 114 -8.8 15.4 0.5 -0.2 4.1 11.2 1.1 11.2 1.1
2010 CLE MLB 72 325 .222 .261 .325 .410 .257 .271 106 -12.6 9.0 0.6 -5.0 3.5 0.4 -0.5 0.4 -0.5
2010 COH AAA 67 316 .278 .265 .335 .415 .257 .337 109 6.4 9.7 -0.2 7.5 4.3 20.2 2.6 20.2 2.6
2011 CLE MLB 114 496 .250 .257 .320 .402 .258 .303 101 -5 13.4 -1.3 -2.7 0.5 7.5 0.5 7.5 0.5
2012 CLE MLB 149 609 .271 .254 .317 .406 .259 .310 99 6.9 16.7 1.3 -13.0 2.7 27.6 1.5 27.6 1.5
2013 CLE MLB 151 611 .271 .254 .315 .399 .263 .304 98 6.4 16.1 -3.8 4.3 2.4 21.0 2.8 21.0 2.8
2014 CLE MLB 156 676 .320 .257 .318 .397 .264 .333 103 38.1 17.4 -3 -2.2 5.1 57.7 6.1 57.7 6.1
2015 CLE MLB 137 596 .294 .254 .315 .403 .259 .318 105 19.7 16.1 -3.7 -0.3 -3.2 28.9 3.1 28.9 3.1
2016 CLE MLB 11 43 .207 .268 .328 .449 .271 .265 110 -2.3 1.2 -0.3 0.3 0.4 -1.0 -0.1 -1.0 -0.1
2016 LKC A 1 3 .576 .233 .289 .329 .229 .667 103 0.9 0.1 0 -0.1 0.0 1.0 0.1 1.0 0.1
2016 MHV A- 1 3 .435 .250 .340 .350 .256 .500 102 0.5 0.1 0 -0.0 -0.2 0.4 0.0 0.4 0.0
2016 AKR AA 6 21 .244 .282 .335 .436 .275 .222 100 -0.3 0.6 -0.1 1.0 -0.2 -0.1 0.1 -0.1 0.1
2016 COH AAA 3 11 .190 .270 .345 .480 .293 .111 112 -0.8 0.3 -0.1 -0.9 0.2 -0.4 -0.1 -0.4 -0.1
2017 CLE MLB 90 375 .275 .259 .326 .431 .262 .325 105 6 11.0 -2.7 5.2 -0.6 13.7 1.9 13.7 1.9
2018 CLE MLB 84 372 .286 .256 .327 .421 .269 .308 107 9.9 10.3 -2.8 -3.6 -0.3 17.1 1.4 17.1 1.4

Statistics For All Levels

Minor league stats are currently shownClick to hide.
Year Team Lg PA R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO SB CS AVG OBP SLG ISO TAv VORP FRAA WARP
2005 HEL Rk 40 8 11 2 0 0 3 6 4 2 0 .324 .425 .382 .059 .314 2.1 -1.2 0.1
2006 WVA A 435 47 108 10 2 0 42 61 51 24 7 .300 .402 .339 .039 .301 22.8 -15.4 0.8
2007 WVA A 255 41 73 15 1 2 32 31 22 18 6 .335 .418 .440 .106 .304 16.5 0.6 1.7
2007 HUN AA 223 28 47 6 1 0 21 29 25 17 3 .251 .347 .294 .043 .253 6.0 2.1 0.8
2008 HUN AA 479 80 134 17 2 4 40 50 27 28 8 .319 .394 .398 .079 .274 22.8 9.2 3.2
2009 CLE MLB 121 10 35 4 0 0 11 8 19 4 4 .312 .358 .348 .036 .244 0.5 -2.6 -0.2
2009 COH AAA 528 80 122 21 2 6 37 59 48 46 5 .267 .347 .361 .094 .245 11.2 -0.2 1.1
2010 CLE MLB 325 38 73 9 3 3 22 22 38 10 2 .246 .296 .327 .081 .222 0.4 -5.0 -0.5
2010 COH AAA 316 54 87 13 2 4 29 34 28 13 5 .319 .392 .425 .106 .278 20.2 7.5 2.6
2011 CLE MLB 496 63 120 24 4 7 46 34 76 13 5 .266 .318 .384 .118 .250 7.5 -2.7 0.5
2012 CLE MLB 609 63 159 37 4 6 60 53 56 12 9 .288 .348 .402 .114 .271 27.6 -13.0 1.5
2013 CLE MLB 611 66 158 26 3 10 73 40 67 17 4 .284 .332 .396 .112 .271 21.0 4.3 2.8
2014 CLE MLB 676 94 200 45 2 20 97 52 56 23 1 .327 .385 .506 .178 .320 57.7 -2.2 6.1
2015 CLE MLB 596 68 164 45 0 15 84 60 51 15 1 .310 .379 .480 .170 .294 28.9 -0.3 3.1
2016 MHV A- 3 0 1 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 .500 .667 .500 .000 .435 0.4 -0.0 0.0
2016 LKC A 3 0 2 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .667 .667 1.000 .333 .576 1.0 -0.1 0.1
2016 COH AAA 11 2 1 1 0 0 1 1 1 0 0 .111 .182 .222 .111 .190 -0.4 -0.9 -0.1
2016 CLE MLB 43 5 9 2 0 0 7 3 6 1 0 .231 .279 .282 .051 .207 -1.0 0.3 -0.1
2016 AKR AA 21 1 4 1 0 0 1 2 1 0 0 .211 .286 .263 .053 .244 -0.1 1.0 0.1
2017 CLE MLB 375 47 101 20 1 9 52 31 50 11 1 .299 .357 .444 .145 .275 13.7 5.2 1.9
2018 CLE MLB 372 55 105 25 1 12 56 25 31 6 3 .308 .355 .493 .185 .286 17.1 -3.6 1.4

Plate Discipline

YEAR PITCHES ZONE_RT SWING_RT CONTACT_RT Z_SWING_RT O_SWING_RT Z_CONTACT_RT O_CONTACT_RT SW_STRK_RT CSAA_CHANCES CSAA_RT
2009 488 0.5697 0.3340 0.9141 0.4424 0.1905 0.9593 0.7750 0.0859 283 0.008662
2010 1307 0.5448 0.3634 0.9095 0.4747 0.2303 0.9556 0.7956 0.0905 727 0.010101
2011 1913 0.5243 0.3753 0.8858 0.4945 0.2440 0.9395 0.7658 0.1142 999 0.005445
2012 2118 0.5085 0.4032 0.9145 0.5682 0.2325 0.9673 0.7810 0.0855 1054 0.006685
2013 2239 0.5029 0.4145 0.8998 0.5959 0.2309 0.9508 0.7665 0.1002 1093 0.011264
2014 2377 0.4977 0.4148 0.8996 0.5943 0.2370 0.9474 0.7809 0.1004 1141 0.001633
2015 2117 0.4880 0.4265 0.9125 0.6176 0.2445 0.9530 0.8151 0.0875 1029 -0.000289
2016 166 0.5964 0.4639 0.8961 0.5657 0.3134 0.9821 0.6667 0.1039 0 0.000000
2017 1389 0.4939 0.4370 0.8715 0.6195 0.2589 0.9388 0.7143 0.1285 0 0.000000
2018 1266 0.4731 0.4415 0.8766 0.6377 0.2654 0.9503 0.7175 0.1234 0 0.000000
Career153800.50690.40770.89860.57230.24050.95130.77020.1014817.26460.0046

Injury History  —  No longer being updated

Last Update: 12/31/2014 23:59 ET

Date On Date Off Transaction Days Games Side Body Part Injury Severity Surgery Date Reaggravation
2014-06-17 2014-06-20 DTD 3 2 - Head Concussion Player Collision Sliding Into Second Base -
2014-05-15 2014-05-16 DTD 1 1 - Back Tightness - -
2013-02-26 2013-03-10 Camp 12 0 - Forearm Laceration Sliding - -
2012-10-11 2012-10-11 Off 0 0 - Surgery Sports Hernia 2012-10-11 -
2012-09-24 2012-09-29 DTD 5 4 Left Groin Strain - -
2012-09-13 2012-09-15 DTD 2 2 Left Chest Soreness Pectoral Muscle - -
2012-04-24 2012-04-24 DTD 0 0 Right Wrist Soreness - -
2012-03-20 2012-03-27 Camp 7 0 - Thigh Tightness Hamstring - -
2011-08-23 2011-09-29 60-DL 37 38 Right Wrist Surgery Hamate 2011-08-31
2011-08-13 2011-08-16 DTD 3 1 Right Wrist Soreness -
2011-08-10 2011-08-12 DTD 2 2 Right Wrist Soreness -
2011-08-03 2011-08-05 DTD 2 2 Right Wrist Soreness Bothering for 1 Week - -
2011-07-19 2011-07-22 DTD 3 2 - General Medical Heat Illness Heat Exhaustion - -
2011-06-22 2011-06-24 DTD 2 1 Left Shoulder Soreness -
2011-03-04 2011-03-08 Camp 4 0 Right Knee Soreness -
2010-09-23 2010-09-26 DTD 3 3 Left Thigh Soreness Hamstring -
2010-08-20 2010-08-25 DTD 5 4 Left Ankle Sprain -
2010-03-22 2010-03-25 Camp 3 0 Right Ankle Sprain -
2009-09-27 2009-09-30 DTD 3 2 Right Ankle Soreness -
2006-05-03 2006-05-13 Minors 10 0 Right Shoulder Strain - -

Compensation

Year Team Salary
2018 CLE $11,500,000
2017 CLE $8,375,000
2016 CLE $7,375,000
2015 CLE $5,875,000
2014 CLE $2,375,000
2013 CLE $526,900
2012 CLE $495,300
2011 CLE $421,800
2010 CLE $400,800
YearsDescriptionSalary
8 yrPrevious$25,844,800
2018Current$11,500,000
9 yrPvs + Cur$37,344,800
9 yrTotal$37,344,800

 

Service TimeAgentContract Status
7 y 131 dLegacy Agency4 years/$25M (2014-17), 2018 option

Details
  • 4 years/$25M (2014-17), plus 2018 club option. Signed extension with Cleveland 2/10/14 (avoided arbitration, $3.8M-$2.7M). $3.5M signing bonus. 14:$1.5M, 15:$5M, 16:$6.5M, 17:$7.5M, 18:$11M club option ($1M buyout). 2017 salary increases by $1M with 1-5 finish in 2014-16 MVP vote or by $0.5M for 6-10 finish in 2014-16 MVP vote. 2018 option increases by $1M with 1-5 finish in 2014-17 MVP vote or by $0.5M with 6-10 finish in 2014-17 MVP vote. Award bonuses, including $0.1M for All Star. Cleveland exercised 2018 option at $11.5M 11/3/17.
  • 1 year/$0.5269M (2013). Re-signed by Cleveland 3/7/13.
  • 1 year/$0.4953M (2012). Re-signed by Cleveland 3/3/12.
  • 1 year/$0.4218M (2011). Re-signed by Cleveland 3/8/11.
  • 1 year/$0.4008M (2010). Re-signed by Cleveland 3/10/10. Optioned to Triple-A 4/19/10.
  • 1 year (2009). Acquired by Cleveland in trade from Milwaukee 10/08 (player to be named in 7/08 Sabathia deal). Contract purchased by Cleveland 9/1/09.
  • Drafted by Milwaukee 2005 (7-205) (Ft. Pierce Central HS., Fla.). $0.15M signing bonus.

2018 Preseason Forecast

Last Update: 1/27/2017 12:35 ET

PCT PA R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO SB CS AVG OBP SLG TAv VORP FRAA WARP
90o 474 62 140 31 1 12 59 43 47 14 1 .330 .395 .493 .305 37.8 LF 4 4.2
80o 457 58 130 29 1 11 55 40 46 13 1 .316 .379 .472 .294 30.3 LF 4 3.5
70o 444 55 123 27 1 10 52 38 46 12 1 .307 .369 .454 .286 25.3 LF 3 2.9
60o 434 53 118 26 1 10 50 36 45 12 1 .301 .362 .449 .279 21.1 LF 3 2.5
50o 424 51 112 25 1 9 48 34 45 11 1 .292 .351 .432 .273 17.4 LF 3 2.1
40o 414 48 108 24 1 9 46 33 44 11 1 .287 .347 .428 .267 13.9 LF 3 1.8
30o 404 46 102 22 1 9 44 31 44 10 1 .278 .337 .417 .260 10.2 LF 3 1.4
20o 391 44 96 21 1 8 41 29 43 10 1 .269 .325 .401 .252 6.1 LF 3 0.9
10o 374 40 87 19 1 7 38 27 42 9 1 .254 .310 .377 .241 0.9 LF 3 0.4
Weighted Mean426511132519483545111.293.354.433.27518.2LF 32.2

Preseason Long-Term Forecast (Beyond the 2018 Projections)

Playing time estimates are based on performance, not Depth Charts.
Year Age PA R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO SB AVG OBP SLG TAv WARP VORP BRR POS_ADJ REP_ADJ RAA FRAA
201932314408118083828377.289.354.443.2701.410.1-0.9-0.78.43.23.2
202033288377517083426356.289.356.444.2701.39.0-1.0-0.77.73.12.9
202134242316013062823294.282.352.430.2660.96.3-1.0-0.76.51.52.4
202235237306114062820283.286.349.437.2650.96.0-1.0-0.76.41.32.4
202336200255112052417252.284.349.437.2650.74.8-1.0-0.75.41.12.0
202437203255212052417251.284.349.434.2650.74.7-1.0-0.75.41.02.0
202538181224611042115221.281.345.429.2620.63.7-0.9-0.74.90.41.8
20263915319399041813190.279.343.425.2600.52.7-0.8-0.64.1-0.01.5
20274012715317031410160.277.339.421.2580.31.8-0.7-0.53.4-0.31.3

Comparable Players (Similarity Index 80)

Rank Score Name Year TAv Trend
1 89 Mike Greenwell 1995 .271
2 89 Gregg Jefferies 1999 .195
3 88 Dale Mitchell 1953 .294
4 86 Luis Gonzalez 1999 .309
5 86 Harvey Kuenn 1962 .290
6 85 Nick Markakis 2015 .283
7 84 Al Spangler 1965 .241
8 84 Dion James 1994 .000 DNP
9 83 Tony Gwynn 1991 .285
10 83 Shannon Stewart 2005 .259
11 83 Brandon Guyer 2017 .243
12 82 Alberto Callaspo 2014 .231
13 82 Melky Cabrera 2016 .270
14 82 Cesar Tovar 1972 .254
15 82 Willard Marshall 1952 .295
16 82 Tim Raines 1991 .265
17 81 Don Mattingly 1992 .273
18 81 Floyd Robinson 1967 .244
19 81 Sean Casey 2006 .252
20 81 David DeJesus 2011 .261
21 81 Greg Gross 1984 .279
22 80 Mark Grace 1995 .306
23 80 Terry Puhl 1988 .303
24 80 Len Dykstra 1994 .289
25 80 Casey Kotchman 2014 .000 DNP
26 80 Denard Span 2015 .305
27 80 Shane Victorino 2012 .264
28 80 Jose Reyes 2014 .271
29 80 Kevin Mench 2009 .000 DNP
30 80 Paul Lo Duca 2003 .258
31 80 Edgardo Alfonzo 2005 .234
32 80 Gail Hopkins 1974 .207
33 80 Lenny Green 1964 .241
34 80 Matt Lawton 2003 .281
35 80 Martin Prado 2015 .283
36 80 Steve Braun 1979 .270
37 80 Yadier Molina 2014 .258
38 80 Maicer Izturis 2012 .230
39 80 Jose Vidro 2006 .259
40 80 Frank Catalanotto 2005 .278
41 80 Rusty Greer 2000 .276
42 79 Ian Kinsler 2013 .291
43 79 Roy White 1975 .303
44 79 Juan Rivera 2010 .257
45 79 Dustin Pedroia 2015 .271
46 79 Placido Polanco 2007 .294
47 79 Johnny Damon 2005 .282
48 79 Brian Downing 1982 .308
49 79 Wally Moon 1961 .325
50 79 Yunel Escobar 2014 .255
51 79 Roberto Alomar 1999 .302
52 79 Tim McCarver 1973 .268
53 79 Conor Jackson 2013 .000 DNP
54 78 George Kell 1954 .273
55 78 Hideki Matsui 2005 .294
56 78 Jim Norris 1980 .216
57 78 Nate McLouth 2013 .269
58 78 Elliott Maddox 1979 .240
59 78 David Murphy 2013 .234
60 78 Clint Courtney 1958 .245
61 78 Jonathan Lucroy 2017 .244
62 78 James Loney 2015 .243
63 78 Elmer Valo 1952 .324
64 78 Richie Scheinblum 1974 .167
65 78 Jody Gerut 2009 .227
66 78 Nellie Fox 1959 .283
67 78 Bob Burda 1970 .244
68 78 Jacoby Ellsbury 2015 .249
69 78 John Jaso 2015 .300
70 78 Justin Turner 2016 .309
71 78 Harry Hanebrink 1959 .221
72 78 Jon Jay 2016 .271
73 78 Nori Aoki 2013 .269
74 77 Bobby Higginson 2002 .271
75 77 Bill Madlock 1982 .305
76 77 Norm Larker 1962 .280
77 77 Rusty Staub 1975 .309
78 77 Mike Scioscia 1990 .275
79 77 Carlos Lee 2007 .283
80 77 Ed Kranepool 1976 .303
81 77 Joe Orsulak 1993 .264
82 77 Mark Kotsay 2007 .213
83 77 Ron Fairly 1970 .306
84 77 Daniel Murphy 2016 .352
85 77 David Segui 1998 .291
86 77 Brett Gardner 2015 .264
87 77 Gaby Sanchez 2015 .000 DNP
88 77 Jimmy Rollins 2010 .271
89 77 John Olerud 2000 .287
90 77 Brian Roberts 2009 .273
91 76 Bill Sample 1986 .278
92 76 Wally Joyner 1993 .292
93 76 Tom Hutton 1977 .270
94 76 Gene Hermanski 1951 .276
95 76 Pete O'Brien 1989 .277
96 76 Brooks Robinson 1968 .294
97 76 Juan Pierre 2009 .275
98 76 Jorge Orta 1982 .214
99 76 Billy Butler 2017 .000 DNP
100 76 Matt Joyce 2016 .306

Platoon

SORT_FIELD PLATOON AVG OBP SLG TAv
10 vs L (Multi) .292 .346 .426 .278
11 vs R (Multi) .310 .375 .471 .297
18 Split (Multi) .018 .029 .045 .019
19 LgAvg (Multi) .020 .029 .071 .031
30 vs L (2016) .286 .250 .571 .349
31 vs R (2016) .219 .286 .219 .175
38 Split (2016) -.067 .036 -.353 -.174
39 LgAvg (2016) .020 .028 .073 .031

Definition of multi-year splits

BP Annual Player Comments

YearComment
2018 Due to publishing agreements, the 2018 player comments and team essays are only available in the Baseball Prospectus 2018 book (available in hardcopy, and soon e-book and Kindle).
2017 Two months after Brantley had shoulder surgery in the winter of 2016, an exhibit on suspended animation opened at the Smithsonian Institution’s Hirshhorn Museum: art exploring the subject of dormancy without death. Brantley’s season entered suspended animation shortly thereafter. He began the season on the disabled list, but was supposed to be back in just a few weeks. Then a few weeks more. Then he was back, but only briefly, and a far cry from the well-rounded talent that made him Cleveland’s best position player in years prior. He went back to the DL for what was meant to be just a little more rest, but then came a diagnosis of biceps tendonitis, followed by a surgery to clean up scar tissue in July—with promises that his season wasn’t over. At least until another shoulder surgery in August officially ended his year and saddled him with several months of recovery to come. The museum’s suspended animation exhibit is set to close in March. Whether Brantley’s 2017 escapes the suspended animation of 2016 and allows him to return to form is still in question, but Cleveland hopes his talent was only dormant.
2016 No, he didn't repeat as an MVP finalist, but Brantley's 2015 campaign was as well rounded as safety scissors. He stole bases without getting caught—he has the game's second-best success rate since 2013, min. 30 steals—and played a confident left field while the rest of the Indians looked like they were fielding a greased-up pig. He is a unique and dangerous hitter, with elite bat-to-ball skills (his 93 percent contact rate was the best in baseball last year), controlled aggression on early-count fastballs, and an overall approach that produced his first double-digit walk rate. Only three guys walked more than they struck out last year, and they comprise a strange trio: Joey Votto, Nori Aoki and Brantley, who has some of the best of both of those guys in his game. Naturally; he has some of everything in his game. He'll start 2016 with a new challenge: offseason shoulder surgery, which puts the start of his season in doubt.
2015 It pays to have a dad in the baseball business. After offseason work with his father, former big-league hitting coach Mickey Brantley, Dr. Smooth laid waste to the American League with an offensive spike in his age-27 season that lines up perfectly with the statistical cliché. He doubled his previous high in homers, set personal marks in the slash stats, compiled more WARP than he had in his entire career entering the season and topped it off with a third-place finish in the AL MVP voting.

Underlying the success was remarkable consistency: He dropped about 90 points of slugging against lefties but held his on-base percentage steady; ripped off-speed pitches for the first time in his career, teeing off on changeups and splitters after years of swinging over those pitches; and started hitting to the opposite field with authority, garnering nine doubles to left. His next left-of-center homer will be his first, but that's no knock: Opposite-field power isn't easy to come by. The magnitude of Brantley's improvement was robust and far-reaching, and there's comfort in knowing that if he falls off track, dad is just a phone call away.

2014 On August 19th, Brantley broke Rocky Colavito's franchise record for most consecutive games without an error, a streak he pushed to 264 games by the end of the season. With 11 assists and the range of a recently converted center fielder, one might expect him to dominate left field defensive rankings. That he's barely above average according to FRAA (and worse in other advanced fielding metrics) paints a different picture, however. He was not included among the three left field finalists for Gold Glove voting in the American League and finished sixth in Fielding Bible voting. At the plate, the man who has Dr. Smooth on his baseball card does have an easy approach that has led to some very consistent stat lines, aided by great contact skills. Yet as in the field, the consistencycombined with some herculean clutch stats last yeartends to obscure the fact that he's not exactly Colavito when it comes to putting runs on the board.
2013 As the 26-year-old continues to develop, he distances himself further from Matt LaPorta as the prize of the CC Sabathia trade with Milwaukee. A lot of Brantleys surplus value over replacement was generated in a big July. He hit half of his six home runs that month with a gaudy 934 OPS in 101 plate appearances. In no other month did he top 768 with his OPS nor exceed .400 in slugging. He still carried a reasonable 715 OPS in the other five months spanning 508 plate appearances. To be fair, hes not a slugger, but that didn't stop the Indians from deploying him in the fourth and fifth slots in the order for 89 of his 149 games played. His walk and strikeout rates are better suited in the top two lineup slots, not run-producing ones.
2012 Capable of stealing bases and scoring runs as the Indians' leadoff hitter, Brantley is a great example of a player who is more valuable in fantasy baseball than real baseball. He hasn't become the everyday outfielder the team hoped for, though he did have to play every day, thanks to injuries to his teammates. Lacking the elite strikeout and walk rates he posted as a minor leaguer, Brantley has very little power and isn't a very good defender in spite of his speed. If he could get on base more, the team might be able to hide his below-average arm in left field, but that is his only route to a future as something more than a fourth outfielder. If he returns from late season hamate bone surgery to a regular role in 2012, it will only be because the Indians lack better options.
2011 Brantley's numbers were brought down by a brutal showing during an early-season call-up, but even when he was hitting for average (.288 after August 1) there wasn't much offensive value there. His minor-league abilities revolved around slashing line drives, drawing some walks, and running, but all he's really done in the majors is hit a little bit, as the walk rate has been down from his minor-league days and he'll never have power. He's not a failure so much as a nice fourth outfielder being asked to do too much by playing every day.
2010 Brantley's first year in the organization after coming over from the Brewers in the Sabathia deal had only one blemish, a dip in batting average, but his 50-point drop from 2008 in Triple-A was discouraging. On the other hand, he dramatically improved both his stolen-base attempts and success rate, and he was among the youngest position players in the league. He is also starting to see a little boost in his power, and though not a walk machine, he remains perfect in walking more than striking out in every professional season. With Trevor Crowe stalling and LaPortas likely move to first base, Brantley has a significant chance of getting playing time in left field this year, but team officials would like him to get some more seasoning back at Columbus.
2009 Because the Brewers made the playoffs, Cleveland got to pick one of two players to be named later in the C.C. Sabathia deal, rather than have Milwaukee choose for them. The Tribe went with the speedy outfielder Brantley over power-hitting infielder Taylor Green. Brantley already has a remarkably professional approach for a hitter so young: his career OBP in over 1600 minor league PAs is .399, he has walked over 50 more times than he's fanned, and stolen at a 78 percent clip. His defense is not of a starting caliber in center field, but with Sizemore in center and LaPorta eventually in left, Brantley's path to the majors may be fourth outfielder. His lack of power might an issue, but the Indians believe that he can add a decent dose of pop as he ages.

BP Articles

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BP Chats

DateQuestionAnswer
2017-02-21 13:00:00 (link to chat)Who are your biggest injury concerns heading into the season?
(Daniel from Queens, NY)
That's a great question! Obviously, Michael Brantley. We have no idea what's going to happen there. Albert Pujols coming off foot surgery is a huge one for me too, especially at his age. Victor Martinez knees are always terrifying. Oh, and pitchers...All of them... (George Bissell)
2016-12-15 13:00:00 (link to chat)Do you think Michael Brantley will be healthy for the start of the season and do you think his stats will return to form for 2017 season?
(Benny from Toronto)
I think he'll be healthy, with a slight dip. He's still young enough that he can recover from these woes. (Kenny Ducey)
2016-09-26 20:00:00 (link to chat)12 team keeper league, where we roster all 8 defensive positions, 2 utility, and 8 SPs. There aren't any weird contracts or scoring rules either. I need 10 keepers. My locks are Rizzo, Stanton, JD Martinez, Todd Frazier, Darvish, Scherzer, & Sale. I'm left to pick 3 of Lucroy, Jose Abreu, Byron Buxton, Stroman, Justin Upton, Dahl, Michael Brantley & Alex Reyes. Not easy to pick 3 out of that, huh? Take a shot! Thanks again!
(BPchatsChangedMyLife from Niagara, ON)
I'd try to package 3-5 of those extra guys for 1 no-doubt keeper, then try to do it again with the rest of that pack of extra guys. There's gotta be some teams in your league who have a stuff or two but only 5-7 legitimate keepers that might be willing to trade one big name player for depth, right? Try to do something with the value locked in those keepable players rather than just let that value evaporate when you submit your freeze list and send several of them back into the free agent poo; And be agnostic about which of that group of players you trade - don't fall in love with your guys. (Scooter Hotz)
2015-07-30 13:00:00 (link to chat)PECOTA loves Astros OF prospect Jason Martin, he's having a great year at 19 in the MWL, and he has some prospect pedigree as a HS draftee in 2013. And yet, he's never mentioned in any conversation about Astros prospects. What gives?
(TexasDeac10 from Houston)
Well, PECOTA like him because Andrew McCutchen and Michael Brantley are two of his top 3 comps right now, and that's going to give you a rosy projection. I'm honestly not familiar with him as a prospect, pre-draft anyway, so I'm not sure what the consensus on him was. The reality is that HS guys take such a long road to the show that he might need to perform like this for a season or two before he starts getting more recognition. (Jeff Long)
2015-06-10 14:00:00 (link to chat)Bigger regret:Lo Cain or Michael Brantley?
(Nathaniel from WI)
I don't think the Brewers regret moving either player, as they have Carlos Gomez and two postseason appearances in return for trading them. Still, Michael Brantley hurt the most at the time. He's such a quality hitter. (J.P. Breen)
2015-05-26 19:00:00 (link to chat)so i have seen you and that one guy from that one site (half-hartedly) discussing a Kershaw trade. what is (are) the biggest trade(s) that have gone down in a Tout or Labr league?
(jonraypyle from tx)
It's really hard to trade in expert leagues, in part because nobody wants to be seen as losing on a deal. I traded Hanley Ramirez in 2013 for two starting pitchers. Fred Zinkie of MLB is the big wheeler dealer in LABR, and he made a big deal this year where he traded Andrew McCutchen, Stephen Strasburg, Asdrubal Cabrera and R.A. Dickey for Michael Brantley and Madison Bumgarner. (Mike Gianella)
2015-04-16 17:00:00 (link to chat)Concerned about Michael Brantley's back? Should I be trying to sell in a dynasty?
(Wayne from Houston)
Back injuries always concern me somewhat. That being said, he's not a big time power guy so the concerns aren't as high as they would be for bopper. You can try to sell but you're going to be getting 75 cents or less on your dollar. (Mike Gianella)
2015-03-03 13:00:00 (link to chat)I was really interested in your column about projection systems being tightly clustered and not all that accurate, all things considered. Do you think this invalidates the projection industry? What do we get out of them, and what do you think we should get out of them in a perfect world?
(Jonas from Portland)
To your first question, no, absolutely not-I don't think it invalidates projections at all. Even though they aren't super-accurate and they are all tightly clustered, they are MUCH, MUCH better than guessing league average for every player (or some ad hoc guesses that one might do). In retrospect, I should have been more careful to emphasize this point. I really meant to say that we have a long way to go in terms of improving the projections.

We get out of them decent guesses, seasoned with historical accuracy and a lot of regression to the mean. What we should get out of them are better guesses, and the ability to more quickly determine when a player's ability has truly changed. I am definitely in the camp that player abilities do change on a year-to-year basis, but our systems are only crudely capable of telling when. Albert Pujols is an example of this, as is someone like Michael Brantley. (Rob Arthur)
2015-02-04 19:00:00 (link to chat)In an h2h points league, where ks are -1, bb are +1, which of these 3 OFs would you take? Jose Bautista, Michael Brantley or Adam Jones?
(gip from new jersey)
I'm not a fantasy expert by any means, but I'd presume the non Adam Jones option. (Jordan Gorosh)
2015-01-20 19:30:00 (link to chat)Who's your pick for this year's Corey Kluber and Michael Brantley?
(Mike from Chicago)
Good question. Gerrit Cole and Mookie Betts (Ben Carsley)
2015-02-13 19:00:00 (link to chat)In 2014, Altuve and Rendon cemented themselves as 2nd round picks in 2015. In 2015, name some players who may become 2nd round picks in 2016? Heyward is one?
(Vic from Baltimore)
Guys in the third or fourth round who could push up to that level are George Springer, Carlos Gonzalez, and Nolan Arenado. Springer and Arenado probably fit what you're looking for: young guys who could hit that breakout. I like Heyward, but I'm not sure if he's going to provide enough speed to get there. 3rd/4th round value seems like the ceiling (although Michael Brantley seemed like this kind of guy and he did it last year). (Mike Gianella)
2015-03-23 13:00:00 (link to chat)Would you keep Michael Brantley or George Springer in a keep forever league? Points league that benefits R and RBI for hitters, and I'm competing this year.
(Carl from Orlando)
Springer. (Sam Miller)
2014-09-05 13:00:00 (link to chat)Some people say that they would rather have Michael Brantley than me. What do you think?
(Bryce Harper from DC)
I'm sure Josh Kusnick is one of those people but I am not. (Cory Schwartz)
2014-06-26 14:00:00 (link to chat)Who are few guys you'd be buying/selling right now?
(Shawnykid23 from CT)
I guess I don't necessarily keep a list like this lying around, but off the top of my head...

I'm selling: Jesse Chavez, Chase Whitley, Lonnie Chisenhall, Gordon Beckham

I'm buying: Kole Calhoun, Ian Kennedy, Joey Votto, Michael Brantley, Will Smith (J.P. Breen)
2014-05-21 13:00:00 (link to chat)Have you seen any signs that what Michael Brantley is doing is sustainable? Didn't see this amount of power coming from the guy.
(JohnnyFive from WA)
I LOOOOVED Brantley coming into this season. If I did a hitter's guide similar to my SP Guide, he might've been my Eovaldi or Kluber. I'd be lying if I said I saw 9 HRs on May 21st, but I'm not completely surprised by legitimate growth. His approach and evolution as a hitter showed some real upside even when it wasn't exactly in the numbers. Plus the fact that he doesn't do any one thing extremely well kept his price low even though it all added up to a really nice fantasy asset last year (Paul Sporer)
2013-02-27 20:00:00 (link to chat)In a keeper league, I have Norichika Aoki and Michael Brantley as my 3rd OF & top bench player (1B & DH spots are taken by Prince & Morneau). I have an offer to trade either one of them to upgrade my pitching staff (same trade, they're interchangeable). PECOTA prefers Aoki, but I'm worried he will regress heavily in 2013, do you have any thoughts?
(ttt from Manhattan)
Howdy, Triple-T. I'm with PECOTA here. I do see some regression for Aoki, but I don't think it will be heavy. The speed looks legitimate, and while I think he might slip in HR a little bit, the numbers overall should be similar. Brantley is the guy I'd move. The Indians offense is loaded, and while Baseball Prospectus's own Jason Martinez has Brantley and Drew Stubbs both starting, I wouldn't be surprised to see Brantley not play quite as much as he did last year. Plus, Brantley doesn't really do any one thing especially well. I think this is a no brainer. I don't know what your offer is, but I'd move Brantley. (Mike Gianella)
2011-06-21 13:00:00 (link to chat)Rank em please: Brantly, Markakis, Pagan, Torres
(Ralph from Arlington)
I think you've got the order right there. Michael Brantley, Nick Markakis, Angel Pagan, Andres Torres. Brantley and Markakis are close, but I'd probably go Brantley first. (Derek Carty)
2011-06-02 13:00:00 (link to chat)Hi Derek, currently trying to work a deal for Michael Brantley as I'm high him to finish strong. What are your thoughts on him for this season and moving forward in 2012-2013 season? Thanks...
(lvhawk from LV, KS)
I like him for sure. Pretty good speed, leads off, should hit for a good AVG. I like him for future years too if he entrenches himself as a legit leadoff guy with 25-30 SB speed. Given his speed and good on-base skills, I think that's pretty likely to happen. (Derek Carty)
2010-03-30 13:00:00 (link to chat)Please rank these speed options: Rajai Davis, Julio Borbon, Michael Brantley, Brett Gardner. Thanks!
(Pat from NJ)
Fantasy: Borbon, Davis, Brantley, Gardner -- based purely on playing time. Real life 2010 (if I was picking guys for my team): Borbon, Gardner, Davis, Brantley. (Shawn Hoffman)
2009-10-02 14:00:00 (link to chat)Does Andy Marte deserve a starting spot on the Indians next year? And what is the perception of Grady Sizemore? Still a top ten player to build around?
(Andy from Saskatoon)
He deserves consideration, anyway. The Indians' LF/1B/3B situation might need clarity, which I would provide with a long overdue trade of Jhonny Peralta. That still leaves Matt LaPorta, who ends up at first once Michael Brantley is deemed ready. Not sure Marte can fade all this competition. (Joe Sheehan)


BP Roundtables

DateRoundtable NameComment
2010-04-05 09:30:00Season Opener RoundtableMichael Brantley up for the Indians. So our readers know, his agent is Josh Kusnick, who had been writing some highly entertaining stuff for us this year. Kusnick also reps Phillie Rule 5 pick David Herndon, who made the Phillies roster out of spring training. (Kevin Goldstein)
 

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