The Evolution of Michael Brantley

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Several years back, we traded CC Sabathia to the Milwaukee Brewers for Matt Laporta, and 3 other players. One of those players, a PTLBN (Player to Later Be Named), became Michael Brantley. Was the trade a great one for the city of Cleveland? This is a debatable question, but either way you look at the trade, Michael Brantley is rapidly becoming one of the most dangerous hitters and all around best players in the game today.

Brantley currently leads the Indians in every major offensive statistic except Home Runs (Brantley is tied for 2nd with 19).

Brantley’s offensive statistics so far look like this;

BA: .321 (Tied 4th Best in MLB)

OBP: .380 (13th best in MLB)

OPS: .878 (12th best in MLB)

SLG: .498 (15th best in MLB)

Stolen Bases: 21 (Tied for 25th Best in MLB)

Hits: 183 (2nd Best in MLB)

Doubles: 40 (Tied for 5th best in MLB);

RBI’s: 94 (14th best in MLB);

Home Runs: 19 (Tied for 51st best in MLB);

Strikeout Percentage: 8.2% (4th best in MLB);

WAR: 6.29 (11th Best in MLB).

Simply put, even without proper baseball statistical knowledge, it is not hard to comprehend how great Michael Brantley has been. Even his defense is highly touted as an all-around outfielder. (Regardless of a poor defensive WAR, he still is an all around great defender). He currently has 12 OF assists (4th best in the MLB). He also set the Indians record for most consecutive games without an error (and broke Ricky Colavito’s record with the Indians) at 247 straight games without an error.

Brantley is an unbelievable talent, who has truly planted himself not only in the greats of today’s game, but arguably also in the heralded AL MVP discussion. While he will not win it, as there are players that are definitely above him and will stay above him in rankings, such as players like Victor Martinez, Mike Trout, and Miguel Cabrera, he has definitely earned a spot in the MVP rankings.

People often tell me continuously that the Indians’ future is bleak. I laugh at those people.

We have a pitcher in Corey Kluber who is likely to finish 2nd in AL Cy Young voting, followed by an extremely young, yet extremely promising staff in Trevor Bauer, Danny Salazar, Carlos Carrasco, and TJ House. Not to mention Jason Kipnis, who as much as people love to hate on him this season is gradually returning to form, Yan Gomes (who many have ranked as a top 5 catcher), Carlos Santana, soon to be Francisco Lindor, and of course Michael Brantley. The Indians need a big bat and they are arguably a top team in the MLB and one capable of contending and winning the AL Central. I know this has been said before, but I mean it.

Believe it or not, especially with Tito Francona as manager, the sky is the limit. This Indians team is on the rise.

Who’d have thought that the 205th pick in the 2005 Draft and a lesser known PTBN in the CC trade would be leading this team in yet another postseason-hopeful season?

Baseball is a funny game sometimes isn’t it?

Roll Tribe

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