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Brantley gets noticed by Project Prospect


Michael Brantley, OF - 5/15/1987, AA, Milwaukee Brewers: Similarly to Bourjos, Michael Brantley is another middle-round draft pick who is rewarding his organization in 2008. Taken 205th overall in the 5th round of the 2005 draft, he also profiles to be an exciting leadoff hitter in the future. Brantley is a left-handed hitter who can handle center field and be a catalyst at the top of any order in the future. With great plate disciple and contact skills (11.4 BB%, 5.4 K%, .327 avg. in 2008), Brantley puts the ball in play the majority of his at bats, if he isn't busy taking the base on balls. Brantley, who just turned 21, is one of the younger players in Double-A, and he's more than handling his own there. His 13 stolen bases to 3 caught stealing in 162 at-bats show his potential to swipe 25 bases in the big leagues. Although he is in a crowded outfield situation in Milwaukee's organization, Brantley is the only one who profiles as a leadoff hitter, something that Milwaukee lacks as Rickie Weeks continues to struggle. If Brantley continues his success, he could make a major league appearance in September. If he does, he will be one of the youngest players in the MLB.
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Maybe he's not underrated, but Brantley does not get talked about enough around here. The Brantley wave is nearing the beach and about to break - look out, its a big one. Everything you hoped TGJ should have been, but even better than that.

 

I don't see a September call-up though. AFL maybe, AAA next year, and then probably a Corey Hart '06 like for Michael in 2010 with our crowded OF.

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There are two problems for Brantley.

 

1. He doesn't hit for any power yet. So you have to worry about his ability to take walks at the MLB level.

 

2. He is blocked by Braun, Hart, and LaPorta. Gillispie seems like he will be a good 4th OF. But Brantley seems most valuable as a lead-off hitter, not a 4th or 5th OF.

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Maybe he's not underrated, but Brantley does not get talked about enough around here. The Brantley wave is nearing the beach and about to break - look out, its a big one. Everything you hoped TGJ should have been, but even better than that.

 

offensively, anyway.
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Am I the only one concerned about Hart in CF? I know he has speed, but I don't know that he breaks fast enough on the ball to be a long term solution there. We'd have 2 guys with limited range in RF/LF to make up for and it scares me. I think LaPorta will play 1B sooner rather than later, and I'd rather we have a Cameron-type out in center. Maybe Brantley will be that guy.
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I worry a little about Hart in center as well. I really think LaPorta will be the first baseman after Prince gets traded. However, if Gamel does not cut it as a 3B he either becomes a first baseman or another OF. I think Brantley if he can put up even close to similar numbers in the pros would be a great addition to the team because of the OBP he would bring. Hart, Braun and Brantley would be alright in my book. Gillespie seems like he could be a player on the big league level as well. Our outfield depth is great. Throw in 4th or 5th outfielders like Gwynn and we should be set in the OF for quite some time
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1. He doesn't hit for any power yet. So you have to worry about his ability to take walks at the MLB level.
What I like about Brantley is not only does he carry a stellar walk rate, he is able to maintain a stellar strikeout rate as well. That makes me think if he's not walking 80-100 times in the big leagues, he'll be hitting .315. And still very young, especially for his level, so some level of power could definitely be reached yet.
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If he can handle CF, sign me up for him as the CF of the future. I don't want an OF of Braun, Hart, and LaPorta. That just wouldn't get it done defensively.

I dont know if that is entirely true, but I agree that I would love to see Brantley become the CF of the future. Braun will only get better as an outfielder, considering he never played OF until this year. Hart can stay where he is. LaPorta can then play first when Prince inevitably leaves. We then need to just hope that Gamel can cut it as a 3B because if he can't the log jam in the OF gets even bigger. If Gillespie can continue to progress he will be a great 4th OF. Huntsville could really restock the Crew in a year or two.

 

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I dont know if that is entirely true, but I agree that I would love to see Brantley become the CF of the future. Braun will only get better as an outfielder, considering he never played OF until this year. Hart can stay where he is. LaPorta can then play first when Prince inevitably leaves. We then need to just hope that Gamel can cut it as a 3B because if he can't the log jam in the OF gets even bigger. If Gillespie can continue to progress he will be a great 4th OF. Huntsville could really restock the Crew in a year or two.
I think you pretty much echoed my feelings of Hart in CF as not a long term solution and that LaPorta should go back to 1B. So I pretty much agree with you.
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be careful what you wish for. While Brantley really only cuts it as a starting CF or a bench player, it's not like he's regarded as a defensive whiz in center; he's mostly played LF and 1b up to this season. I don't think it would be an upgrade defensively over Hart.
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Agreed. Hart could very well be much faster than Brantley. Too bad MB doesn't play 2B.
"Dustin Pedroia doesn't have the strength or bat speed to hit major-league pitching consistently, and he has no power......He probably has a future as a backup infielder if he can stop rolling over to third base and shortstop." Keith Law, 2006
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be careful what you wish for. While Brantley really only cuts it as a starting CF or a bench player, it's not like he's regarded as a defensive whiz in center; he's mostly played LF and 1b up to this season. I don't think it would be an upgrade defensively over Hart.

I dont know a ton about Brantley's fielding so I have a question for people in the know. What outfield would you think is a better fielding outfield Braun/Brantley/Hart or Braun/Hart/LaPorta? Obviously, the second is a better hitting outfield, but my assumption would be that the first is a better fielding one but I could be wrong. LaPorta at 1B would have to improve our infield D as well because he could not be worse than Prince in my mind.

 

 

 

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He's just your classic 1b/CF guy. Just like....um....Darrin Erstad and Cesar Cedeno? Can't think of any others...but Prince could probably do it, too, perhaps you've seen the way he seems to glide to the ball. I know the corner guys would defer to him rather than risk collisions...

 

I will be fascinated to see how Brantley turns out...and there's no way I'll try to guess any further because he's already defied my expectations.

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He was playing 1B because he didn't have a natural position with the ton of OF prospects he's played with, or at least that was my opinion. Until AA he played with more polished defensive CFs that couldn't really play anywhere else on the diamond, so he was the guy that got moved to get his bat in the lineup.

"You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation."

- Plato

"Wise men talk because they have something to say; fools, because they have to say something."

- Plato

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The Brewers played Brantley in LF until this year for a reason. BA reported in his profile that he consistently got poor jump in the OF, kind of suprising for such an instinctive hitter, I'm surprised it doesn't carry over to his defense. Its very possible he defense could develop though, or at least i'm hopeful.

 

 

I'm going to comment on a few statements from the Link Report, so we don't clutter that up with Brantley talk.

 

Brantley is very young and has a .400 OBP. He's a stud.
Research strongly suggests OBA in the low minors has no correlation to the ability to have a high OBA in the majors. It may simply suggest a hitter is closer to reaching his ceiling. Brantley is now in the middle minors, so that helps, but its not the majors either.

 

As long as he keeps his OBP around .370 I'm not worried. Power always comes later. It will develop
Sometimes power comes later, but many players don't develop power ever. Brantley is already swinging at the right pitches, so that part isn't going to develop more, and you can't increase bat speed. He'll have to make massive gains in the strength department (without losing speed so he can remain in CF).

 

My biggest problem with Brantley is now that he's not hitting in the middle .300's, he is only slugging .364 and he's only (well, "only") walked 20 times over 176 ABs so his OPS is dropping precipitously as his BA drops.
And That makes an excellent point. Now that Brantley is facing more advanced pitching, the pitchers are adjusting to him. The scouting report is pretty clear he has no power, so pitchers are likely pitching him just like they do Juan Pierre. Pound the strike zone with high fastballs for strikes, and let him try to get on top of it, for guys with little power, that leads to a ton of flyball outs. Thats why Pierre and Gwynn Jr. can't draw walks like others do, even though they both know the strikezone well. Good pitchers simply won't let them walk.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

"88.6% of all statistics are made up right there on the spot" Todd Snider

 

-Posted by the fan formerly known as X ellence. David Stearns has brought me back..

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