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Indians Acquire Brantley

October 3, 2008
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More on this later, but here is the press release:

CLEVELAND, OH --- The Cleveland Indians today announced the club has acquired OF MICHAEL BRANTLEY from the Milwaukee Brewers. The acquisition of Brantley completes the July 7th deal between Cleveland and Milwaukee that sent LHP CC Sabathia to the Brewers for OF/INF MATT LaPORTA, LHP ZACH JACKSON & RHP ROB BRYSON.

Brantley, 21, spent the entire 2008 season at Class AA Huntsville of the Southern League where he posted an on-base percentage of .395 with 80 runs scored, 17 doubles, 2 triples, 4 home runs and 40 RBI in 106 games. He also stole 28 bases in 36 attempts and compiled a batting average of .319 (134-420). He was tied for 6th in Southern League in runs (80) & steals (28), was 7th in batting average (.319) and 12th in on-base % (.395) despite an ankle injury that limited him to 4 games in July. He had nearly twice as many walks (50) as strikeouts (27) and ranked second in the entire minor leagues w/a strikeout per plate appearance ratio of 17.7 (27K in 479 PA).

The versatile Brantley appeared in 62 games in center field and 21 games at both left field and first base. He was named to the Southern League mid-season and post-season All-Star Team and was named in Baseball America as the Best Baserunner and having the Best Strike Zone Judgment in the Southern League. The 6’2”, left-handed hitter compiled virtually identical on-base percentages off both right-handed (.397) and left-handed pitching (.390) while hitting .351 (53-151) for the season with runners on base. After the season he was named the 19th best prospect in the Southern League by Baseball America.

Brantley owns a career minor league on-base % of .399 with 53 2B, 7 3B, 6HR & 157 RBI in 383 games (.311BA, 433-1392) since being selected in the 7th round of the 2005 draft by Milwaukee out of Ft. Pierce Central High School (FL). In his minor league career he has 199 walks compared to just 142 strikeouts (1K per 11.5PA) and has stolen 103 bases in 132 attempts (78%). In 2006 at Class A West Virginia he was 3rd in the South Atlantic League with a .402 on-base % and in 2007 between A West Virginia & AA Huntsville he stole 35 bases and drove in a career-high 53 runs in 115 games. He is the son of former big leaguer Mickey Brantley, who played with the Seattle Mariners from 1986-89.

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