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Michael Charles Brantley Jr. (born May 15, 1987) is an American professional baseball outfielder for the Houston Astros of Major League Baseball (MLB). He is the son of former MLB player and hitting coach Mickey Brantley.

Michael Brantley
MBrantley.jpg
Brantley with the Cleveland Indians in 2011
Houston Astros – No. 23
Left fielder
Born: (1987-05-15) May 15, 1987 (age 32)
Bellevue, Washington
Bats: Left Throws: Left
MLB debut
September 1, 2009, for the Cleveland Indians
MLB statistics
(through 2019 season)
Batting average.297
Home runs109
Runs batted in618
Teams
Career highlights and awards

After he starred for Central High School in Fort Pierce, Florida, the Milwaukee Brewers selected Brantley in the 2005 MLB Draft. During the 2008 season, Brantley was traded to the Cleveland Indians along with other prospects for CC Sabathia. He made his MLB debut with the Indians in 2009. In 2014, Brantley was named an MLB All-Star and won the Silver Slugger Award.

Early lifeEdit

Brantley was born in Bellevue, Washington. His father, Mickey Brantley, played in Major League Baseball (MLB), and was a member of the Seattle Mariners at the time Michael was born. Michael was raised in Port St. Lucie, Florida.[1] Starting at age seven, Brantley played in Southwestern Port St. Lucie Little League Baseball.[2] When Mickey worked as the hitting coach for the New York Mets in 1999, Michael got to spend time around the Mets.[1]

Brantley attended Central High School in Fort Pierce, Florida, where he played for the baseball and golf teams.[3][4] In his senior year for the baseball team, he had a .595 batting average, scored 22 runs, and recorded 12 runs batted in and 32 stolen bases.[2] After being drafted by the Milwaukee Brewers out of high school, Brantley gave up his National Letter of Intent to play college baseball for the Coastal Carolina Chanticleers.[5]

Professional careerEdit

Milwaukee BrewersEdit

The Milwaukee Brewers selected Brantley in the seventh round, with the 205th overall selection, of the 2005 MLB Draft.[6] After he signed with the Brewers, Brantley played for their Rookie-level affiliates, the Helena Brewers of the Pioneer League and Arizona Brewers of the Arizona League. He batted .347 with 14 stolen bases in 44 games for Arizona,[7] and .324 in 10 games for Helena.[8]

The Brewers assigned Brantley to the West Virginia Power of the Class A South Atlantic League in 2006. He batted .300 with 24 stolen bases in 108 games for West Virginia.[9] In 2007, Brantley began the season with West Virginia. After batting .335 in 56 games,[10] the Brewers promoted Brantley to the Huntsville Stars of the Class AA Southern League, where he batted .251 in 59 games.[11] Playing for Huntsville in 2008, Brantley had a .319 batting average with four home runs, 40 RBIs, and 28 stolen bases.[12]

Cleveland IndiansEdit

The Brewers traded Brantley to the Cleveland Indians on October 3, 2008, as the player to be named later (PTBNL) in the July 7 transaction where the Brewers acquired CC Sabathia for Matt LaPorta, Zach Jackson, and Rob Bryson.[1][12][13] The list of choices for the PTBNL was narrowed down to Brantley and Taylor Green. The Indians and Brewers agreed that if the Brewers reached the 2008 MLB postseason, the Indians could make the choice. Since the Brewers made the playoffs, the Indians got to choose, and they chose Brantley.[13][14]

 
Brantley in 2011

Brantley played for the Columbus Clippers of the Class AAA International League in 2009. He hit .267 for the Clippers. When major league rosters expanded on September 1, the Indians promoted Brantley to the major leagues.[15] Brantley reached base safely in his first eight games.[16] Near the end of the 2009 season, he replaced the injured Grady Sizemore in center field. In his time there, he hit .313 with 11 RBIs in 28 games.[17] Due to an injury to Russell Branyan, Brantley opened the 2010 season with Cleveland, starting in left field on Opening Day. When the Indians activated Branyan on April 19, Brantley, who had batted 5-for-32, was optioned to Columbus.[18] Brantley batted .315 in 59 games for Columbus, and was recalled to the major leagues on July 4 after an injury to Shin-Soo Choo.[19] After batting 11-for-70 with one home run in 26 games in his second stint with the 2010 Indians, he was demoted to Columbus on July 27 to make room for Josh Tomlin. Manager Manny Acta said that Brantley would soon be back in Cleveland,[20] and he was recalled to Cleveland on August 6, as the Indians' leadoff hitter.[21] He batted .292 for the remainder of the season,[22] and finished the season with a .242 batting average.[23]

In 2011, Brantley batted .266 in 114 games. He hit seven home runs, recorded 46 RBIs, and stole 13 bases.[2] After missing time due to tendinitis in his right wrist, Brantley's season ended prematurely when he required surgery on the hamate bone in his right hand in August.[24] In 2012, Brantley shifted to center field to replace the injured Grady Sizemore.[25] He had a career-high 22-game hitting streak.[26] Brantley has a patient approach to the plate that is followed by a short, compact swing. He rarely swings at the first pitch and will only do so if he has guessed the right location and type of pitch. In 2012, he was given the nickname "Dr. Smooth" by Cleveland Indians sports writer Dennis Manoloff for his smooth swing and approach at the plate.[27] In 144 games, he batted .288 with a .348 on-base percentage, .402 slugging percentage, 37 doubles, and 60 RBIs: all setting new career highs.[28]

After the 2012 season, Brantley had surgery to correct a sports hernia.[28] Before the 2013 season, the Indians signed center fielder Michael Bourn as a free agent, and moved Brantley back to left field.[29] The Indians discussed a contract extension with Brantley's representatives, but talks ended when the season began.[30] In August 2013, Brantley set a new Indians' franchise record for games without an error by an outfielder with 213, passing Rocky Colavito.[31] Brantley had a break-through season in 2013, batting .284 with 158 hits, 10 home runs, 73 RBIs, and 17 stolen bases. His errorless streak reached 245 at the end of the season.[32]

Brantley was eligible for salary arbitration before the 2014 season. Rather than going through with arbitration, the Indians signed Brantley to a four-year contract extension worth $25 million, with an option for a fifth season valued at $11 million and a $3.5 million signing bonus.[1][32][33] Brantley was selected to appear in the 2014 MLB All-Star Game after hitting .322 with 15 home runs and 63 RBIs during the first half of the season.[34] On the final game of his 2014 season he picked up his 200th hit of the season making him the 18th player in Indians history to do so and first since Kenny Lofton reached the milestone in 1996.[35] He batted .327/.385/.506 with a career-high 20 home runs in 2014. After the season, Brantley won the Silver Slugger Award.[36] He was named a finalist for the 2014 American League Most Valuable Player Award[37] and finished in third place in the balloting, behind winner Mike Trout and Victor Martínez.[38]

In 2015, Brantley batted .310/.379/.480 with 15 home runs, led the American League in doubles (45), and had the lowest strikeout percentage of all major league baseball players (8.6%).[39] He also led the major leagues in walks-per-strikeout at 1.18, and had the highest contact percentage on his swings in the major leagues (92.6%).[40][41]

Brantley underwent shoulder surgery in the off-season, but returned to the Indians in April. By August, it was clear that a second surgery would be necessary, ending his season. In 2016, in 36 at bats he hit .231/.279/.282/.[42]

On August 9, 2017, Brantley was placed on the 10-day disabled list due to a right ankle strain.[43] In 2017 he batted .299/.357/.444 with 9 home runs. The Indians exercised Brantley's 2018 option on November 3, 2017.[44]

Batting .306 with five home runs and 31 RBIs, Brantley was named to the 2018 MLB All-Star Game.[45] In 2018 he batted .309/.364/.468 with 17 home runs, as he also had the highest contact percentage on his swings in the major leagues (90.9%).[46]

Houston AstrosEdit

On December 17, 2018, Brantley signed a two-year, $32 million contract with the Houston Astros.[47]

In 2019 he batted .311/.372/.503 with 40 doubles (5th in the AL), 22 home runs, and 90 RBIs in 575 at bats, while grounding into 21 double plays (4th).[48] On defense, he had a 10 Defensive Runs Saved (DRS) rating, the best in the major leagues among left fielders.[49]

Brantley was the final out of the 2019 World Series, striking out swinging against Washington Nationals pitcher Daniel Hudson.

Personal lifeEdit

Brantley lives in Port St. Lucie, Florida, during the baseball offseason.[23] He is married. His wife, Melissa, gave birth to their first child, daughter Mariah, in September 2013.[50][51] Their second child, son Michael III, was born in February 2015.[52] Their third child, son Maxwell, arrived in June 2017.[53]

Brantley maintains a close relationship with his father. They speak every morning by phone to discuss his at bats from the previous game.[54] Brantley's cousin, Justin, is a minor league pitcher who used to be in the Indians' organization, but has since been released.[55]

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b c d Kepner, Tyler (August 10, 2014). "A Paternal Touch Yields a Smooth Swing". The New York Times. Retrieved November 11, 2014.
  2. ^ a b c "Cleveland Indians' Michael Brantley honored for helping Little League". TCP. Retrieved November 12, 2014.
  3. ^ "MLB: Fort Pierce Central grad Michael Brantley is having his best season yet". TCP. Retrieved November 12, 2014.
  4. ^ "Five Questions with ... Indians left fielder Michael Brantley". cleveland.com. Retrieved November 12, 2014.
  5. ^ Puskar, Gene J. (June 27, 2015). "Former CCU recruits Matz, Votto to square off in Mets-Reds game". Myrtle Beach Online. Sun News. Retrieved November 6, 2015.
  6. ^ "2005 Major League Baseball Draft, Rounds 1–10 – Pro Sports Transactions". prosportstransactions.com. Retrieved November 12, 2014.
  7. ^ "2005 AZL Brewers". Baseball-Reference.com. Retrieved November 12, 2014.
  8. ^ "2005 Helena Brewers". Baseball-Reference.com. Retrieved November 12, 2014.
  9. ^ "2006 West Virginia Power". Baseball-Reference.com. Retrieved November 12, 2014.
  10. ^ "2007 West Virginia Power". Baseball-Reference.com. Retrieved November 12, 2014.
  11. ^ "2007 Huntsville Stars". Baseball-Reference.com. Retrieved November 12, 2014.
  12. ^ a b Tom Haudricourt. "Brantley completes Sabathia deal". jsonline.com. Retrieved November 12, 2014.
  13. ^ a b "How Michael Brantley, once a 'player to be named later,' made the Cleveland Indians winners of the CC Sabathia trade". cleveland.com. Retrieved November 14, 2014.
  14. ^ "Brantley completes deal for Tribe". Cleveland Indians. Retrieved November 12, 2014.
  15. ^ "Cleveland Indians promote Michael Brantley and Jose Veras from Class AAA Columbus". cleveland.com. Retrieved November 12, 2014.
  16. ^ "Fort Pierce Central grad Michael Brantley is a hit with Cleveland". TCP. Retrieved November 12, 2014.
  17. ^ "Michael Brantley not taking his shot at the Cleveland Indians lineup for granted". cleveland.com. Retrieved November 12, 2014.
  18. ^ "Cleveland Indians option Michael Brantley to Class AAA Columbus; prepare to activate Russell Branyan". cleveland.com. Retrieved November 12, 2014.
  19. ^ "Michael Brantley brings confidence from Columbus stint to the Tribe: Indians Insider". cleveland.com. Retrieved November 12, 2014.
  20. ^ "Michael Brantley's departure expected to be a short one, says Manny Acta: Indians Insider". cleveland.com. Retrieved November 12, 2014.
  21. ^ "Michael Brantley steps right into starting lineup after being called up Friday: Cleveland Indians Insider". cleveland.com. Retrieved November 12, 2014.
  22. ^ "P.M. Cleveland Indians links: Michael Brantley could impact lineup and defense this season". cleveland.com. Retrieved November 12, 2014.
  23. ^ a b "Fort Pierce Central grad Michael Brantley helping fuel Indians' turnaround". TCP. Retrieved November 12, 2014.
  24. ^ "Michael Brantley of Cleveland Indians out for season with wrist injury - ESPN". ESPN.com. Retrieved November 12, 2014.
  25. ^ "Grady Sizemore, Michael Brantley play usual roles: Cleveland Indians spring training briefing". cleveland.com. Retrieved November 12, 2014.
  26. ^ "Brantley just doing his job for Cleveland Indians — hitting". TCP. Retrieved November 12, 2014.
  27. ^ "Cleveland Indians' Michael Brantley proving to be as smooth as a summer breeze: Bill Livingston". cleveland.com. Retrieved November 12, 2014.
  28. ^ a b "Michael Brantley undergoes sports hernia surgery - HardballTalk". nbcsports.com. Retrieved November 12, 2014.
  29. ^ "For the Cleveland Indians' Michael Brantley, the job (not the position) is the thing: Terry Pluto". cleveland.com. Retrieved November 12, 2014.
  30. ^ "Contract talks not a concern for Michael Brantley: Cleveland Indians Chatter". cleveland.com. Retrieved November 12, 2014.
  31. ^ "Michael Brantley sets club record for errorless games by an outfielder: Cleveland Indians insider". cleveland.com. Retrieved November 12, 2014.
  32. ^ a b "Cleveland Indians, outfielder Michael Brantley agree on 4-year contract extension worth $25 million". cleveland.com. Retrieved November 12, 2014.
  33. ^ "Indians, Brantley agree to multiyear contract". Major League Baseball. Retrieved November 12, 2014.
  34. ^ "Cleveland Indians outfielder Michael Brantley selected to All-Star team; Corey Kluber part of 'Final Vote' initiative". cleveland.com. Retrieved November 12, 2014.
  35. ^ "Michael Brantley remembers someone special after reaching 200 hits for Cleveland Indians". cleveland.com. Retrieved November 12, 2014.
  36. ^ "The Cleveland Indians awarded Michael Brantley, Yan Gomes long-term contracts and the two rewarded the Tribe with award-winning seasons". cleveland.com. Retrieved November 14, 2014.
  37. ^ "Cleveland Indians' Corey Kluber, Michael Brantley finalists for AL Cy Young, MVP awards". cleveland.com. Retrieved November 12, 2014.
  38. ^ "Cleveland Indians' Michael Brantley "honored' to finish third in AL MVP balloting". cleveland.com. Retrieved November 14, 2014.
  39. ^ American League Leaderboards » 2015 » Batters » Advanced Statistics | FanGraphs Baseball
  40. ^ Major League Leaderboards » 2015 » Batters » Plate Discipline Statistics | FanGraphs Baseball
  41. ^ Major League Leaderboards » 2015 » Batters » Advanced Statistics | FanGraphs Baseball
  42. ^ Michael Brantley Stats | Baseball-Reference.com
  43. ^ Bastian, Jordan. "Ankle sprain lands Michael Brantley on 10-day DL". MLB. Retrieved August 9, 2017.
  44. ^ "Indians exercise 2018 club options on OF Michael Brantley & RHP Josh Tomlin". Indians.com. November 3, 2017.
  45. ^ Cleveland Indians' Michael Brantley named to AL All-Star team after playing 11 games in 2016 | cleveland.com
  46. ^ Major League Leaderboards » 2018 » Batters » Plate Discipline Statistics | FanGraphs Baseball
  47. ^ Footer, Alyson. "Astros make 2-year deal with Brantley official". MLB. Retrieved December 19, 2018.
  48. ^ "Michael Brantley Stats". Baseball-Reference.com. Retrieved October 11, 2019.
  49. ^ "Major League Leaderboards » 2019 » Left Fielders » Fielding Statistics | FanGraphs Baseball". Fangraphs.com. January 1, 2019. Retrieved October 7, 2019.
  50. ^ "LF Michael Brantley travels to Florida to be with expectant wife: Cleveland Indians Insider". cleveland.com. Retrieved November 14, 2014.
  51. ^ "Michael Brantley, 'a superstar in the making,' reaching new heights for the Cleveland Indians". cleveland.com. Retrieved November 14, 2014.
  52. ^ "With newborn son, will Brantley have even more 'daddy strength' in 2015?". Fox Sports. Retrieved December 21, 2017.
  53. ^ "Brantley to paternity list; Tribe bolsters 'pen". MLB.com. Retrieved December 21, 2017.
  54. ^ "The Guru of swing: Ex-major leaguer Mickey Brantley gets back to basics with local pupils". TCP. Retrieved November 12, 2014.
  55. ^ "Justin Brantley Released By Indians". 1045theteam.com. Retrieved October 7, 2019.

External linksEdit