Michael Brantley
Michael Brantley
32-Year-Old OutfielderOF
Houston Astros
2019 Fantasy Outlook
It was a long road back for Brantley, who battled injuries the prior few seasons, most notably missing nearly all of 2016 following shoulder surgery. However, last season he nearly matched his 2014/2015 form, back when he helped win fantasy championships for a lot of folks. He lacked a little power and saw a modest drop in steals, but Brantley is now on the other side of 30 years old so that's understandable. Heading his skill set is a tiny 9.5 K%, second lowest in the league among qualified hitters. He cracked 17 homers, his second most ever, fueling a .160 ISO, behind only the levels attained in 2014 and 2015. Brantley ran less, but a 12-for-15 stolen-base success rate shows the cagey vet still know when to pick his spots. Home venue is less important for a contact-driven hitter like Brantley, so while he landed in a pitcher's park in Houston, that shouldn't affect baseline expectations much. The injury risk will be baked in. Don't hesitate to invest. Read Past Outlooks
RANKSFrom Preseason
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$Signed a two-year, $32 million contract with the Astros in December of 2018.
Homers twice in loss
OFHouston Astros
August 15, 2019
Brantley went 3-for-4 with a pair of home runs and another run scored in Thursday's 7-6 loss to the A's.
ANALYSIS
Brantley kept the Astros in the game with two pivotal game-tying home runs. He hit his first long ball in the sixth inning off Mike Fiers, followed by a solo shot off Blake Treinen in the eighth. Despite Brantley's valiant effort, the Astros came up short in what turned into a home run shootout for both sides. The long balls were Brantley's first of the month and 18th of the year as the veteran outfielder remains on pace to surpass his career-best 20-homer campaign in 2014 with Cleveland. Overall this season, Brantley leads Houston in both batting average (.332) and hits (148).
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Batting Order Slot Breakdown
vs Right-Handed Pitchers
vs RHP
#1
#2
#3
#4
#5
#6
#7
#8
#9
8
37
42
vs Left-Handed Pitchers
vs LHP
#1
#2
#3
#4
#5
#6
#7
#8
#9
2
16
10
Left/Right Batting Splits
Since 2017
 
 
+25%
OPS vs RHP
2019
 
 
+18%
OPS vs RHP
2018
 
 
+30%
OPS vs RHP
2017
 
 
+23%
OPS vs RHP
OPS PA R HR RBI SB AVG OBP SLG
Since 2017vs Left .731 435 46 7 51 11 .293 .343 .388
Since 2017vs Right .911 1087 166 37 153 15 .324 .384 .527
2019vs Left .823 139 12 2 18 1 .320 .388 .434
2019vs Right .971 378 64 16 58 2 .339 .394 .577
2018vs Left .684 169 20 3 16 5 .277 .320 .365
2018vs Right .889 461 69 14 60 7 .321 .380 .509
2017vs Left .696 127 14 2 17 5 .288 .323 .373
2017vs Right .857 248 33 7 35 6 .305 .375 .482
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Home/Away Batting Splits
Since 2017
 
 
+10%
OPS at Home
2019
 
 
+2%
OPS at Home
2018
 
 
+14%
OPS at Home
2017
 
 
+23%
OPS at Home
OPS PA R HR RBI SB AVG OBP SLG
Since 2017Home .898 776 125 24 119 15 .330 .383 .515
Since 2017Away .817 746 87 20 85 11 .299 .361 .457
2019Home .940 234 42 9 32 0 .336 .393 .547
2019Away .926 283 34 9 44 3 .332 .392 .534
2018Home .886 328 53 9 51 11 .333 .379 .507
2018Away .774 302 36 8 25 1 .281 .348 .426
2017Home .871 214 30 6 36 4 .319 .379 .492
2017Away .710 161 17 3 16 7 .272 .329 .381
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Stat Review
How does Michael Brantley compare to other hitters?
This section compares his stats with all batting seasons from the previous three seasons (minimum 400 plate appearances)*. The bar represents the player's percentile rank. For example, if the bar is halfway across, then the player falls into the 50th percentile for that stat and it would be considered average.

* Exit Velocity and Barrels/PA % are benchmarked against this season's data (min 200 PA) and Hard Hit Rate is benchmarked against last season's data (min 400 PA). See here for more exit velocity/barrels stats plus an explanation of current limitations with that data set.
  • BB/K
    Walk to strikeout ratio
  • BB Rate
    The percentage of plate appearances resulting in a walk.
  • K Rate
    The percentage of plate appearances resulting in a strikeout.
  • BABIP
    Batting average on balls in play. Measures how many of a batter’s balls in play go for hits.
  • ISO
    Isolated Power. Slugging percentage minus batting average. A computation used to measure a batter's raw power.
  • AVG
    Batting average. Hits divided by at bats.
  • OBP
    On Base Percentage. A measure of how often a batters reaches base. Roughly equal to number of times on base divided by plate appearances.
  • SLG
    Slugging Percentage. A measure of the batting productivity of a hitter. It is calculated as total bases divided by at bats.
  • OPS
    On base plus slugging. THe sum of a batter's on-base percentage and slugging percentage.
  • wOBA
    Weighted on-base average. Measures a player's overall offensive contributions per plate appearance. wOBA combines all the different aspects of hitting into one metric, weighting each of them in proportion to their actual run value.
  • Exit Velocity
    The speed of the baseball as it comes off the bat, immediately after a batter makes contact.
  • Hard Hit Rate
    A measure of contact quality from Sports Info Solutions. This stat explains what percentage of batted balls were hit hard vs. medium or soft.
  • Barrels/PA
    The percentage of plate appearances where a batter had a batted ball classified as a Barrel. A Barrel is a batted ball with similar exit velocity and launch angle to past ones that led to a minimum .500 batting average and 1.500 slugging percentage.
BB/K
0.81
 
BB Rate
8.1%
 
K Rate
10.1%
 
BABIP
.345
 
ISO
.206
 
AVG
.334
 
OBP
.393
 
SLG
.540
 
OPS
.932
 
wOBA
.403
 
Exit Velocity
89.1 mph
 
Hard Hit Rate
41.5%
 
Barrels/PA
4.4%
 
Advanced Batting Stats
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Additional Stats
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Past Fantasy Outlooks
2018
2017
2016
2015
2014
2013
2012
2011
2010
2009
2006
No one is shocked Brantley only played 90 games last season. However, it is surprising the reason was a pair of right ankle injuries, the last sending him to the DL on Aug. 9. He returned for the last two games of the regular season plus three playoff tilts. Once the Tribe was eliminated, Brantley had surgery to stabilize the ligaments in his right ankle with an estimated return coinciding with the beginning of spring training. When healthy, Brantley was productive, but he fell a little short of 2014-15 levels with a .299/.357/.444 slash line. He may have been playing hurt most of the season. Even so, Brantley popped nine homers and was 11-for-12 stealing bases, providing hope he can run effectively when healthy. Still just 30 years old, Brantley remains a health liability, but the chance for double-digit homers and steals in a solid lineup with a plus average is worth the risk, especially with an injury discount.
Brantley's 2016 season should serve as a cautionary tale for injury optimists. The initial hope for Brantley, who was coming off shoulder surgery, was that he might be ready following a brief, backdated DL stint. Unfortunately, his timetable was pushed back to late April, and Brantley only played in 11 games upon his return before he landed right back on the shelf. From there, reports of incremental progress would trickle in, leading many owners to hold tight. However, he experienced several more setbacks and never ended up returning to action. Brantley underwent another shoulder procedure in August, with his rehab projected at four months. There was some fear that his recovery could actually push well into 2017, but the Indians say he should be good to go for spring training. Brantley began taking dry swings right around the end of the calendar year.
Doctor Smooth wasn't in his best form in 2015, but he was still very good. A balky back limited him early in the season, and the discomfort lingered until near the end of July. Once the back got in order, Brantley was operating with surgical precision at the plate and ended the season with a .332/.383/.549 line over his final 200 plate appearances. He has always been a high-contact hitter, but reached a new level in 2015 when he walked more times than he struck out, which helped him keep his OBP above .375 for a second consecutive season — a feat only five other players have accomplished. Despite being on base so often, he didn't score 70 runs or steal 20 bases due to his back issues in the first half of the season. There has been some uncertainty regarding his timetable for a return from offseason shoulder surgery, and 2014 may forever represent his upside.
Arguably the biggest breakout player of 2014, Brantley doubled his power output and was a 20-20 player for the Indians en route to finishing third in the AL MVP voting. Prior to last season, Brantley had never slugged above .402 as a big league player, which will undoubtedly lead to questions about his ability to sustain his new level of production. Handling fastballs better than he did in the past, Brantley's HR/FB rate climbed from 6.8% in 2013 to 12.7% last season. That he was able to significantly increase his home-run production without selling out in his approach bodes well for his chances of another strong season in 2015 (his strikeout rate was a career-best 8.3%). Even if he's more likely to hit .300 with 15 homers and 15 steals than repeat the .327 average with another 20-20 effort, Brantley has all of the tools necessary to remain a steady five category player in the heart of the Cleveland lineup.
Brantley enjoyed a breakout season in 2013, with career highs in runs (66), homers (10), RBI (73) and steals (17). His ability to at least tread water against southpaws (.276/.325/.339) keeps him out of a platoon situation, which certainly helps his counting stats. Brantley will turn 27 in May, but there are no signs of additional power on the horizon, as his three-year ISO has ranged from .112 to .118, with very little fluctuation, and he hits a steady supply of balls on the ground (47.0 percent groundball rate in 2013). He'll be back as the team's everyday left fielder, barring a major offseason addition.
Brantley enjoyed his finest season since breaking into the big leagues, hitting .288 with 60 RBI and 12 steals in a full-time role for the Indians. He'll be back in a full-time role again for 2013 and figures to post similar numbers though there could be some upside to be found in the stolen-base department. In terms of power, it seems unlikely that he will provide much more than 10-12 long balls at his peak, as his ISO (.114) last season was right in line with 2011 and at the high end of his range during his stops in the minor leagues.
Brantley's season was cut short by a wrist injury in August that eventually required surgery, but he is expected to make a full recovery. He's not a huge fantasy contributor in any single category but chips in some value in most categories in nearly all formats. Of some concern is that his contact rate slipped from 87 to 83 percent last season, while his career struggles against lefties (.230/.294/.278) may ultimately lead him to sit depending on the composition of the Cleveland bench. Entering his age-25 season, he's a good bet to improve on last year's totals in what will be just his second full season in the majors, so look for Brantley to slot in as Cleveland's leadoff hitter and regular left fielder if Grady Sizemore is healthy enough to play center.
Brantley got off to a slow start, was demoted to Triple-A Columbus, hurt his shoulder upon his recall, got demoted to Triple-A again, and was called back up again only to deal with ankle and hamstring injuries in August and September in a whirlwind season for the 23-year-old. He did hit .284 with 10 steals after his second promotion from Triple-A after a dismal showing (.118 average) in the season's first half even though the underlying skill set didn't appear to change much thanks to a near 200-point jump in his batting average on balls in play. He's the Indians' everyday left fielder and likely leadoff hitter heading into spring training and he offers you speed on the basepaths, but limited power.
Brantley parlayed an injury to Grady Sizemore and the Indians' woeful season into a nice audition in September that saw him hit .313 with four steals for the Tribe as the team's everyday leadoff hitter down the stretch. He has nice instincts on the basepaths (46 steals in 51 tries at Triple-A last year) and a solid approach (59 walks and just 48 strikeouts in 457 at-bats at Triple-A) for a leadoff hitter but has to develop some power or pitchers will just pound the strike zone on him without fear. He's been one of the younger players at each of his minor league stops but a .369 career slugging percentage just isn't going to cut it. He'll have a chance to win an everyday role with the Indians this spring, especially with the talk of moving Sizemore down to the middle of the order.
Brantley, who was acquired as part of the package for CC Sabathia, hit .319 and swiped 27 bases as a 21-year old in his first full season at Double-A. He's got an excellent batting eye but will need to develop some more power as he matures or advanced pitchers will simply pound the strike zone against him as he moves up the minor league chain. There's certainly room on his frame (6'2") for some additional pop but we'll see if it ever develops.
Michael Brantley is the son of former major league outfielder Mickey Brantley. Michael has speed and good on-base skills, but not much in the way of power.
More Fantasy News
On bench for nightcap
OFHouston Astros
August 13, 2019
Brantley is not in the lineup for Game 2 of Tuesday's doubleheader against the White Sox, Chandler Rome of the Houston Chronicle reports.
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Reaches 72 RBI
OFHouston Astros
August 11, 2019
Brantley went 1-for-4 with a triple, two RBI and a run scored Sunday against the Orioles.
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Gets breather
OFHouston Astros
August 4, 2019
Brantley is out of the lineup Sunday against the Mariners, Brian McTaggart of MLB.com reports.
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Drives in four in win
OFHouston Astros
August 3, 2019
Brantley went 3-for-5 with two doubles, two runs scored and four RBI in Saturday's 9-0 win over the Mariners.
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Rips two homers Sunday
OFHouston Astros
July 22, 2019
Brantley went 3-for-3 with a walk, two home runs and three RBI in Sunday's 5-3 win over the Rangers.
ANALYSIS
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