Belittling Brantley?

brantley hits.jpg

(Photo courtesy

I said it last year and I will say it again. Michael Brantley is going to be the leadoff hitter for this team. He has quick hands which he can use to turn on the ball or he can wait on the ball and hit it the other way. The thing I admire about Brantley’s play and that sticks out to me is his befuddling ability to work pitchers to the very best of his potential. For how young he is, he sure does make me want to see more of him.


I don’t think that the Indians should keep him down in the minors for long. If Laporta struggles, Brantley should be brought up immediately and placed in the one spot. This makes the whole idea of Grady hitting second which in my opinion is regrettable better. He can be moved maybe into the third or fourth spot and Asdrubal can be moved back into his spot in the second spot.


Brantley came into the majors last year and hit an astonishing .313 in 28 games. Yes he didn’t have all of the time in the world to show us what he has, but so what. The kid got into the majors but still showed what he could do. He kept the team alive and I think he was the real deal. He does need more time for grooming as the Indians and Manny Acta call it. Sometimes he gets himself out too easily and can be atrocious against lefties at times.


But Brantley has shown me something. He has shown me what I thought that was in him the whole time. He has a young Kenny Lofton brewing inside him. No I’m not saying he is going to be as good as Kenny ever was, but he has the potential to become a player like Kenny. He could possibly steal 40 bases, hit .310 while scoring 90 runs in a season. Now this could not happen this year, but I think if Brantley keeps on driving to work on his swing and mechanics, this isn’t out of the question…



(Image courtesy sportsgrumblings)

But my question is “Are the Indians belittling Brantley?” For heaven sakes, the guy almost hit for the cycle against the D-Backs. He only needed a homer to complete it. Do the Indians have full faith in Brantley like I do? I want an answer from Acta. He needs to make up his mind in whether Brantley is going to be the every day left fielder, or if he will be playing in the minors for three fourths of the year.


He can’t afford to spend his season in the minors this year as he did last. The problem is and I will say this loud and clear: There are no spots for him to fill. Matt Laporta is expected to hit 20 or more homers this year and is really depended on to pump out 70 RBI or more. The Indians are counting on him to produce. And then you know who we have in center. And right now, no one is going to beat him out. Then you got Choo in right who can’t be beaten.



(Image courtesy CNN)

There is just no where to go. Which is why this “tuning” might be taken place. It could be the Indians excuse of saying “Your not good enough and we don’t have a spot for you.” This I will agree is the main point and argument. Is Brantley good enough to play in front of Laporta? I think it will take a little bit of this year to figure out. And it will be interesting in what Acta decides.


Brantley is young as is Laporta. It’s hard to compare a power hitter and a speed guy. But in my utter opinion, I would have to say that I agree with the Indians that Laporta should be the number one while giving Brantley a “tune up.” But when this tune up is over, where shall he go? If there is no spot in the roster for him to go, then what is his purpose for the Indians?


It will all play out during the year. You will see moves being made with either Laporta and/or Brantley. It’s going to be a dogfight in my opinion for the role unless Laporta comes out and wow’s the majors in the first two or three months. But are the Indians belittling him? He is very talented but also very young. I think in fact that Indians are belittling him due to the fact that he is a young and inexperienced player.


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(Image courtesy lebrownstown)

And I think he knows that the Indians think of him as that. Frown upon it or not, it’s a true fact and he needs to play more mature. He needs to lay off pitches that he doesn’t want and polish his game off. When he comes back to the majors after his tuning we could see a different Brantley, maybe one with a better game.


But this all depends on where a spot opens up. Possibly many players could change position at once just for Brantley to come into the opening. He will definetely be up during September call ups, you can count on that. But if he’s not up before that, than that will be a shame. The Indians will have belittled little Brantley to the expiration point.. 


  1. raysrenegade

    If Brantley has a little Kenny Lofton in him, he should definitely be your team’s lead-off man for 2010.
    No disrepect to Grady Sizemore, but with a team rebuilding a bit, he would be safer in the line up at the 3-spot be be sure team do not try and not pitch to him.
    But as we all know, tons of things can happen in that fragile 4-week period before the beginning of the season.
    I think we will see Brantley at the top of the line-up in April. And if not, maybe by the end of the season and from 2011 until……

    Rays Renegade

  2. indians

    Brantley really does have a bright future. The Indians will let him polish up some of his game and he’ll be part of, potentially, one of the best outfields in the game. Once he comes up to Cleveland for good, the Indians will have a solid top of the order in there lineup. With him leading-off obviously.

  3. indians

    I think Brantley will be in Left when he comes up. LaPorta will slide over to first base and branyan will be traded by the deadline.

  4. TribeTed

    Rays Renegade: Exactly my point. Brantley should be the leadoff hitter and should have Sizemore move to three.

    But in reality, that can’t happen.

    Brantley has no spot to come up in. It’s kind of like the Yankees and Brett Gardner. Except that Brantley is considered better.

    There are just no spots for him.

    I do think that we will get to see him before 2011 though. We better, or I will not be a happy camper.


  5. savagetruth

    Ted, you should check out what Tony on indiansprospectinsider had to say about Brantley’s situation.
    Basically holding Brantley back in AAA to start the year mostly has to do with his service time clock–if they wait until June to call him up, they have control over him for an extra year before he’s arbitration eligible. I’m pretty sure Branyan will be gone by the end of June, he either won’t be performing and they’ll release him, or he’ll perform well and they’ll trade him. Really the only way that doesn’t happen is if Branyan’s playing well and the Indians are still in contention, or if other injuries crop up. Either way, as long as Brantley continues to progress in Columbus he’ll probably be called up by the end of June.

  6. TribeTed

    Indians: I really do think that he is the next leadoff hitter for the Cleveland Indians.

    I like how he can do what he wants with pitchers.

    I do think that you are correct in Russell being traded at the deadline, but I do think that is highly unlikely. No one is going to want him.

    But if someone in fact does want him, we could maybe get an A+ pitching prospect or possibly a AA okay pitcher.

    But hey, I’ll take that.

    Brantley NEEDS to come up.


  7. TribeTed

    savagetruth: Thanks for the link.

    I think June sounds pretty good. It’s towards the beginning of the season and gives Brantley enough time to “tune up” and get ready for the big leagues.

    That does make sense though. If they keep him down, they have him for another year.

    I do think though when he comes up, the lineup might be shuffled around. It has to be with him at the top.

    I will definetely check that out. Thanks.


  8. phillies_phollowers

    A lot of teams are playing it safe with the young kids, waiting for them to mature more. They come up to early, they sometimes develop bad habits when trying to push too hard. But we are always anxious to see what they can do…hope you get that chance soon :O)


  9. azinneck

    I agree with several of the previous commenters about how it would probably be in the Indians’ best interest to keep Brantley in AAA for the first couple months, if only because of the service-clock reason. But also because rushing a young guy up can sometimes backfire. Giving him a couple AAA months before installing him as leadoff hitter may be a better option, unless he flat out wins a spot in the spring. Hopefully whatever the Indians decide works out well for the team 🙂

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