Michael Brantley, Left Field, Cleveland Indians, #23
Date of Birth: 5/15/1987
Birthplace: Bellevue, Washington
Nickname: Dr. Smooth
Michael Brantley, left fielder for the Cleveland Indians, was first drafted by the Milwaukee Brewers in 2005 but he only played with their minor league teams. The Brewers traded him to the Indians in October, 2008. He continued to play in the minor leagues through 2010, with his only major league playing time in 2009 in 28 games with the Indians. He ended his minor league career with a .303 batting average.
In 2011, his first full season in the major leagues, Brantley batted .266 with 120 hits, 24 doubles, and 13 stolen bases in 114 games. That season, he split his defensive time between left field (66 games) and center field (52 games). Brantley became a center fielder for the Indians in 2012. He had a good offensive season, batting .288 with 159 hits, 37 doubles, and 60 RBIs in 149 games.
Brantley had another good year in 2013, batting .284 with 158 hits, 26 doubles, 73 RBIs, and 17 stolen bases in 151 games. He was moved to left field and he made 257 putouts with no errors.
Brantley had his best season in 2014. He finished with a .327 batting average and he had career highs in hits (200), doubles (45), RBIs (97), and stolen bases (23) and he played in a career high 156 games. He won a Silver Slugger award for his accomplishments.
Brantley had another strong season in 2015. He batted .310 and he led major league baseball in doubles with 45 (a career high). He had 164 hits, 15 home runs, 15 stolen bases, and 84 RBIs in 137 games. Defensively, he played 101 games in left field and 28 games in center field and he made 212 putouts and 2 errors.
On November 9, 2015, Brantley had shoulder surgery. He spent most of the 2016 season on the DL, recovering from his surgery. He played in just 11 games with the Indians.
Brantley batted .299 in 90 games with the Indians in 2017. He finished the season with 101 hits, 20 doubles, 52 RBIs, and 50 strikeouts to 31 walks. Defensively, as a left fielder in 87 games, he made 135 putouts and 1 error.
Career batting statistics for Brantley through 2017 include:
- 908 games played
- 1,019 hits
- 212 doubles
- 452 RBIs
- 419 strikeouts to 303 walks
- .292 batting average
Brantley's father Mickey played with the Seattle Mariners from 1986 through 1989.
Brantley and his wife Melissa have one daughter.