Michael Brantley (OF-CLE)
Injury – He underwent arthroscopic surgery on his right shoulder to repair a partially torn labrum he sustained in September 2015.
2015 Season – Brantley missed 25 games with various injuries but still managed to hit .310 with 15 home runs, 84 RBI, 68 runs scored and 15 stolen bases.
Reason For Optimism
- Brantley is in the prime of his career and was on pace to surpass the statistics from his breakout 2014 season had he not missed 25 games in 2015.
- The injury was to his non-throwing shoulder which should help expedite his ability to return.
- He already has picked up a bat and returned to the batting cage ahead of schedule.
- Brantley will continue to develop power as he gets older and turn some of those 45 doubles he hit in 2015 into home runs while also still contributing with his speed and stolen bases.
Reason For Concern
- A shoulder injury could sap Brantley’s power which has been limited during his career thus far maxing out at 20 home runs in 2014.
- Assuming he does not have any setbacks, the earliest Brantley is likely going to return is late April/early May which represents a significant chunk of time he will be out.
2016 OUTLOOK – Brantley has established himself as an extremely valuable fantasy baseball player with solid statistical production in all five major Roto categories. He missed 25 games in 2015 and will miss at least that many again this year. His draft value is diminished slightly because he will start the season on the disabled list, but that could make him an extremely popular bargain pick. Assuming he comes back on schedule, Brantley should still be counted on to produce statistics commensurate with his past two seasons. The Indians have a solid lineup around him and he remains one of a select few players who perform in all five Roto categories. The biggest question about Brantley is whether his power will truly develop or simply remain an extra base hit machine. He should not be drafted as an OF1 due to his injury, but he is worth stashing on your bench for a month in order to reap the rewards the rest of the way.
If you are wondering the best way to evaluate players such as Brantley so that you can be prepared for your draft, then be sure to check out the 2016 Fantasy Alarm Draft Guide.
Michael A. Stein, Esq. is the Chief Justice of Fantasy Judgment, the industry's premier dispute resolution service, and co-host of the Fantasy Alarm Podcast. You can contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Facebook and Twitter (@FantasyJudgment),