Michael Brantley

Michael Brantley

35-Year-Old OutfielderOF
Houston Astros
60-Day IL
Injury Shoulder
Est. Return 2/1/2023
2022 Fantasy Outlook
Brantley continues to fend off Father Time, though his already-suspect power is showing signs of decline. Brantley's home run output is capped by a low flyball rate, but last season's 27.9% mark was a career low. His exit velocity on flyballs also dropped a tick. Even so, Brantley's power indicators portended him reaching double digits, so his eight long balls were a bit low. His plate skills and batted-ball profiles were in sync with the last few seasons (at least a .299 average for the fifth consecutive season). Brantley's defense continues to be above average, though he spent more time at designated hitter to give his legs a break. Brantley visited the IL twice, early on with a sore hamstring and late with knee soreness. It's best to expect a similar health pattern as he embarks on his age-35 campaign. Otherwise, Brantley remains a solid average stabilizer, albeit with low power and almost no speed. Read Past Outlooks
RANKSFrom Preseason
#251
ADP
$Signed a two-year, $32 million contract with the Astros in January of 2021.
Aiming to be ready for spring
OFHouston Astros
Shoulder
September 29, 2022
Brantley (shoulder) said Wednesday he should be ready to resume full baseball activities by spring training, Chandler Rome of the Houston Chronicle reports.
ANALYSIS
Though Brantley is set to become a free agent this winter, is turning 36 years old in May and is working back from August surgery to repair the labrum in his right shoulder, he isn't yet ready to retire. Brantley's power production has trended down in recent seasons, and he's probably a better fit at designated hitter than in the corner outfield at this stage of his career, but his elite contact skills should be enough for him to secure a one-year deal on the open market.
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Batting Stats
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2022
2021
2020
2019
2018
2017
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Batting Order Slot Breakdown
vs Right-Handed Pitchers
vs RHP
#1
#2
#3
#4
#5
#6
#7
#8
#9
46
vs Left-Handed Pitchers
vs LHP
#1
#2
#3
#4
#5
#6
#7
#8
#9
18
Left/Right Batting Splits
Since 2020
 
 
+42%
OPS vs RHP
2022
 
 
+11%
OPS vs RHP
2021
 
 
+61%
OPS vs RHP
2020
 
 
+45%
OPS vs RHP
OPS PA R HR RBI SB AVG OBP SLG
Since 2020vs Left .628 322 39 4 22 1 .241 .290 .338
Since 2020vs Right .892 648 82 14 73 3 .334 .401 .491
2022vs Left .732 87 8 1 4 1 .295 .360 .372
2022vs Right .810 190 20 4 22 0 .285 .374 .436
2021vs Left .575 180 25 2 14 0 .219 .261 .314
2021vs Right .924 328 43 6 33 1 .363 .418 .507
2020vs Left .638 55 6 1 4 0 .231 .273 .365
2020vs Right .926 130 19 4 18 2 .328 .400 .526
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Home/Away Batting Splits
Since 2020
 
 
+4%
OPS on Road
2022
 
 
+16%
OPS at Home
2021
 
 
+31%
OPS on Road
2020
 
 
+37%
OPS at Home
OPS PA R HR RBI SB AVG OBP SLG
Since 2020Home .787 479 59 8 54 2 .295 .356 .431
Since 2020Away .819 491 62 10 41 2 .309 .373 .446
2022Home .848 127 15 3 15 0 .315 .389 .459
2022Away .732 150 13 2 11 1 .265 .353 .379
2021Home .694 262 30 2 21 1 .270 .324 .369
2021Away .911 246 38 6 26 0 .355 .402 .509
2020Home .973 90 14 3 18 1 .341 .400 .573
2020Away .710 95 11 2 4 1 .256 .326 .384
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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 2019 data (min 400 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.
  • Expected BA
    Expected Batting Average.
  • Expected SLG
    Expected Slugging Percentage.
  • Sprint Speed
    The speed of a runner from home to first, in feet per second.
  • Ground Ball %
    The percentage of balls put in play that are on the ground.
  • Line Drive %
    The percentage of balls put in play that are line drives.
  • Fly Ball %
    The percentage of balls put in play that are fly balls.
BB/K
1.03
 
BB Rate
11.2%
 
K Rate
10.8%
 
BABIP
.311
 
ISO
.128
 
AVG
.288
 
OBP
.370
 
SLG
.416
 
OPS
.785
 
wOBA
.347
 
Exit Velocity
89.8 mph
 
Hard Hit Rate
32.1%
 
Barrels/PA
4.7%
 
Expected BA
.310
 
Expected SLG
.467
 
Sprint Speed
21.8 ft/sec
 
Ground Ball %
44.4%
 
Line Drive %
24.3%
 
Fly Ball %
31.3%
 
Advanced Batting Stats
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Additional Stats
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Defensive Stats
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Past Fantasy Outlooks
2021
2020
2019
2018
2017
2016
2015
2014
2013
2012
2011
2010
2009
2006
Take away Brantley's injury-plagued 2016 and 2017 seasons and he's been remarkably consistent, registering a wRC+ between 124 and 151 every year since 2014. Last year was no different, as he recorded a 134 mark. However, there are signs Brantley was a bit fortunate as he also recorded a .336 BABIP, the highest mark since he broke in back in 2009. This came in handy since he fanned at a 15.0% rate, his highest level since 2011. The veteran has shed the injury-prone label, but as he embarks on his age-34 season, expecting 140-150 games is prudent. After 10 years with Cleveland and two with Houston, Brantley hit the free-agent market only to return to the Astros. His production and consistency should keep him in the lineup every day. Brantley's .307 BA over the past four seasons is well worth the draft cost, and you get discounted power and run production to boot.
Brantley continued his comeback from a lost 2016 season, and had his best season in the second half of the decade as a piece of the potent Houston lineup. One point is all that has separated Brantley from hitting .300 in three consecutive seasons, and couple that with a decent walk rate and you also get a strong on-base percentage. He does not steal bases any longer, but that is the only area where he is not at least a solid producer in the stat line. Last year was the second consecutive season where Brantley was able to get back over the 600 plate appearance mark, thus further putting the health concerns in the rearview mirror. Look for more of the same in 2020 as Brantley's floor is as high as the risk is low with his overall profile. The ceiling may be low, but boring still wins championships. It would be nice if Brantley could play more DH, but the presence of Yordan Alvarez will not allow it.
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.
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
Transferred to 60-day IL
OFHouston Astros
Shoulder
August 13, 2022
Brantley (shoulder) was transferred to the 60-day injured list Saturday.
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Undergoes season-ending surgery
OFHouston Astros
Shoulder
August 12, 2022
Brantley underwent an arthroscopic labral repair on his right shoulder and will miss the remainder of the season.
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Heading for second opinion
OFHouston Astros
Shoulder
August 10, 2022
Astros bench coach Joe Espada said Wednesday that Brantley is receiving a second medical opinion on his injured right shoulder, Brian McTaggart of MLB.com reports.
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Status uncertain for rest of season
OFHouston Astros
Shoulder
August 7, 2022
Astros general manager James Click wouldn't commit Sunday to Brantley (shoulder) being able to return from the 10-day injured list before the end of the season, Chandler Rome of the Houston Chronicle reports. "We hope [Brantley will return in 2022], but with every passing day, you have to kind of take an honest look at it," Click said.
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Still not swinging
OFHouston Astros
Shoulder
August 5, 2022
Brantley (shoulder) said Wednesday he hasn't swung a bat since mid-July and is without a timeline to resume doing so, Chandler Rome of the Houston Chronicle reports. "I don't want to put a timetable on [swinging a bat] because then I don't know if it's pushing too hard or not pushing hard enough. It's literally day by day," Brantley said, who has been on the injured list since June 28.
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