The Detroit Tigers Minor League affiliates seasons are now officially in the books. With another season completed, the time has come for me to announce the 2011 MCB Down on the Farm All-Star Team.
In an effort to reward less talked about prospects, only players that did not receive a call-up to Detroit this season were eligible. While you may recognize some of the names, remember these awards aren’t a pronouncement of the Tigers top prospects. The awards were based heavily upon the best overall statistical season per position.
Similar to previous years, the breakdown of the roster will consist of one player per position, a designated hitter, five starting pitchers and five relievers.
2011 MCB Down on the Farm All-Stars: Catcher Rob Brantly
Teams: Low-A West Michigan & Advanced-A Lakeland
430 AB, .274/.324/.400/.724
22 doubles, 1 triple, 10 HR, 62 RBI 29 BB and 56 SO
Rob Brantly was selected by the Detroit Tigers in the third round of the 2010 MLB First-Year Player Draft. The 22-year-old left-handed batter split time between West Michigan and Lakeland last season.
Behind the Numbers:
His bat was as advertised in West Michigan as Brantly hit .303 for the ‘caps in 75 games. Perhaps his only blemish was his .219/.239/.322/.561 slash line after being promoted to Advanced-A Lakeland. Falling on your face in 39 games after a promotion to a much more advanced level isn’t exactly the end of the world though.
Brantly hit a combined 33 extra-base hits including 10 home runs last season. He doesn’t flash a ton of power but his overall ability to put the ball in play is impressive.
Overall, his approach at the plate was pretty solid. His at-bats ended in a strikeout a respectable 13% of the time. However, he managed to walk in just 7% of his at-bats which is a little concerning. Obviously the walks need to increase but his ability to avoid the punch-out is definitely encouraging. He’s young though, he’s certainly got time to work things out a bit.
Brantly remains highly regarded as the Tigers number one catching prospect. He was recently selected to represent the Tigers in the 2011 Arizona Fall League. The competition in the AFL will be a good test for Brantly. Reserved for top prospects usually above AA, the invitation is aggressive and interesting.I expect Brantly to begin the season in Advanced-A Lakeland next spring. Beyond next season, I still project Brantly as a solid MLB backup catcher.
Next Up: 3B