Sleeper Candidates for the American League All-Star team

Michael Brantley – Cleveland Indians

On July 7th, 2008, the Cleveland Indians traded C.C. Sabathia to the Milwaukee Brewers for Matt LaPorta, Zach Jackson, Rob Bryson, and a player to be named later. That PTBNL ended up being Michael Brantley, a young outfielder and former 7th round draft pick who had been bouncing around the lower levels of Milwaukee’s farm system. 6 years later, Michael Brantley belongs in an All-Star game in the Major Leagues.  He has improved each year with the Tribe, and this year he is having a monster campaign. He is hitting .323 with a .391 on-base and .519 slugging, along with a 2.8 WAR already, good enough for 4th among all American League outfielders. Without Brantley, Cleveland wouldn’t be over or even around .500 in a crowded AL Central.

Dallas Keuchel – Houston Astros

You still may never have heard of Dallas Keuchel…your loss. The surprising Astros have had their rotation led by Keuchel, whose first two years in the bigs were quite poor. He has quickly turned that around, however, dealing all year for the Stros. He is currently 4th in WHIP, 5th in xFIP, and 9th in WAR among all qualified AL starters. Even with his brilliance, he could be a victim of lack of recognition, which would be a real shame, because this kid is excellent.

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