- Michael Brantley (Cleveland Indians)
The Indians waited a long time for Michael Brantley to be great. They never gave up on him and it came through in 2014. Brantley had a breakthrough-monster year in 2014. Not only was it the first time that he had a 20-20 season, it was the first time he hit more than 10 homers in a year.
The only knock on Brantley’s year, offensively, was his low walk rate of just 7.7%, but with a strike-out rate of just 8.3% (4th best among all qualified players) I might take the walk numbers. He walked only 52 times on the year, but an OF best of 200 hits and a .327 BA added to that gives you a .385 OBP (5th among outfielders).
The defense needs work; however, if Brantley can duplicate his 2014 year in 2015; he will soon become a household name.
*Brantley signed a 4-year, $25-million contract before the start of the 2014 season. That deal could turn out to be the steal of a lifetime for the Indians.
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