Cleveland Indians outfielder Michael Brantley has been named the American League Player of the Week for the period ending June 15th. The announcement was made earlier today on MLB Network.
Brantley batted .538 (14-for-26) with three doubles, two homers, three walks, three RBI and nine runs scored in seven games to grab his first career weekly honor and the first for the Tribe this season. The last Indian to get a Player of the Week nod was second baseman Jason Kipnis on July 1, 2013. Michael led all Major League hitters in batting average, runs scored and on-base percentage (.625), and was tops in the A.L. in hits, total bases (23) and times on base (20). Additionally, he was second in the Junior Circuit in slugging percentage (.885) and was tied for third in extra-base hits (5).
In an offensive show for the Indians on Monday, the left-handed-hitting Brantley went 3-for-5 with a solo home run, five runs scored and two walks as Cleveland topped the Texas Rangers, 17-7, at Globe Life Park in Arlington. Michael combined with teammate Lonnie Chisenhall to go 8-for-10 with four homers, 12 RBI and eight runs scored in the triumph, with Lonnie matching a franchise mark with nine RBI (also Chris James on May 4, 1991 at Oakland). In the third tilt of a four-game set at Fenway Park on Saturday, the 27-year-old Brantley went 2-for-4 with a hit-by-pitch and a run scored as Cleveland edged the Boston Red Sox, 3-2. The Bellevue, Washington native scored the go-ahead run in the Indians' two-run seventh inning on a bases-loaded walk to Carlos Santana. On Father's Day on Sunday, Brantley, whose father Mickey played in the big leagues, recorded his career-best fifth straight multi-hit game to lead the Indians to a 3-2 victory. The six-year veteran, who is one of 22 current second-generation Major Leaguers, finished with two hits, including a solo homer and a walk as the Tribe took the last two games to split the series with the Sox.
Brantley, who was sent by the Milwaukee Brewers to the Cleveland organization in October 2008 to complete an earlier swap that saw CC Sabathia move to the Brewers, is batting .322 (85-for-264) this season with 17 doubles, 11 homers, 45 RBI and 49 runs scored in 68 games. Among A.L. outfielders, Brantley is second in batting average and runs scored, third in hits, tied for third in doubles, fourth in RBI and on-base percentage (.390), tied for fourth in games played and is fifth in at-bats. Defensively, Michael's eight outfield assists trail only Yoenis Cespedes of Oakland for the A.L. lead.
Other noteworthy performances in the A.L. last week included Chisenhall (5-for-5 with a double, three homers and nine RBI on 6/9 at Texas); Derek Jeter (.435, 2 2B, 3 RBI, 6 R, 2 SB) of the New York Yankees; Victor Martinez (.375, 3 2B, 3 HR, 6 RBI) of the Detroit Tigers; Mike Moustakas (.412, 1 2B, 2 HR, 4 RBI) of the Kansas City Royals; Mike Trout (.417, 5 2B, 2 HR, 7 RBI) of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim; Bud Norris (2-0, 0.61 ERA, 14.2 IP, 11 SO) of the Houston Astros; and 2013 A.L. Cy Young Award winner Max Scherzer (1st career shutout in his 179th start on 6/12 at the Chicago White Sox) of the Detroit Tigers.
In recognition of his American League Player of the Week Award, Michael Brantley will be awarded a watch courtesy of Game Time, the leader in licensed sports watches, available at MLB.com.