Controversial Prospect: Michael Brantley

We last looked at Brewers outfield prospect Michael Brantley about a year ago. He had just been promoted to Double-A at the time, and ended the year hitting ..251/.353/.294 in 59 games for Huntsville, with 18 steals in 21 attempts, and a 29/25 BB/K ratio in 187 at-bats. Although he showed very little power, he was young for Double-A, had skipped advanced-A altogether, and still showed excellent plate discipline. Note the very low strikeout rate combined with a high walk rate. I gave him a Grade C+ in the book this year, noting his youth, speed, and athleticism to go with the plate discipline and still rating him a major sleeper heading into 2008.

2008 has gone well. In 60 games for Huntsville, Brantley is hitting .337/.415/.426 with 31 walks, 14 strikeouts in 249 at-bats, with 17 steals in 23 attempts. The combination of high walks and useable speed on the bases still stands out, and he's reportedly improved his outfield defense as well. He's been a bit unpolished with the glove despite his speed, but that's getting better according to Brewers official Reid Nichols on my radio show a couple of weeks ago. His strikeout rate is even lower than last year. He's doubled his Isolated Power from a miniscule .043 last year to .089 this year. not exactly robust but a signficant improvement nonetheless. The point is not for Brantley to become a power hitter, but for him to develop enough pop to keep the pitchers honest.

Brantley turned 21 last month, so he's still quite youthful. At worst I see him as a good fourth outfielder, and if he really can boost the power and maintain that sort of batting average, OBP, and speed at higher levels, he could be a regular. I'm raising his grade to B-. If I were the Brewers, I would consider challenging him again with a move to Triple-A in July. 

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join Minor League Ball

You must be a member of Minor League Ball to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Minor League Ball. You should read them.

Join Minor League Ball

You must be a member of Minor League Ball to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Minor League Ball. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9351_tracker