Michael Brantley’s injuries haven’t stopped one of MLB’s supreme Black Knights from being recognized and paid as an elite baller.
The Cleveland Indians — the only MLB team Brantley’s ever know in his 10-year career — didn’t want to pay the three-time All-Star close to $18 million because he’s been the victim of some hard luck when it comes to injuries. Despite the setbacks, his performance has always been first rate.
Brantley needed two surgeries to fix a shoulder he messed up while diving for a ball in the outfield in 2015. He played just 11 games in 2016 and missed Cleveland’s run to the World Series.
He was rolling again in 2017 and made his first All-Star squad since his breakout year of 2014 when he hit .327 with 20 homers, 97 RBIs and 23 steals in 156 games. Late in the season, he injured his ankle chasing down a fly ball on Aug.8.
In 2018, Brantley was able to play 143 games, make another All-Star team and hit .309 with 17 homers and 76 RBIs. He also scored 89 runs and posted an .832 OPS.
The former Cleveland Indians All-Star outfielder ranked ninth on The Top 15 Black Knights In MLB list. Brantley will be missed in Cleveland. He was part of the rebuild that almost went all the way.
He’s a baller for sure, a consistent, throwback hitter who rarely strikes out or swings and misses in an era when striking out is the new home run. He’ll fit right into a deep Astros lineup that is among the best in MLB at manufacturing runs.
The Astros won 103 games last season and adding a player of Brantley’s caliber to the mix puts them in position to avenge that ALCS loss to Boston a few months ago.