Rank: #84 (2020- #89)
This ranking is just plain confusing. Brantley was a Top 40 player according to MLB, but he’s ranked in the 80s by ESPN for the second year in a row. ESPN’s list seems to be more pitcher-heavy up top, but that seems to be way too big of a disparity for Brantley.
“Uncle Mike” is as steady as they come, someone who consistently puts up all-star level numbers and seems to get better with age while hitting in the heart of the batting order. Since 2018, Brantley has hit .309, had an OBP of .370, and has smacked 44 HRs, 91 doubles and 188 RBIs. He doesn’t have gaudy power like a Yordan Alvarez or Bryce Harper (#25), but he gets on base 37% of the time and is one of the more clutch hitters in the league.
VERDICT: TOO LOW
I guess some of this could attributed to his age and his average defense, but considering how great he is at the plate, this ranking is still very perplexing. Someone who hits above .300, who had a 1.7 WAR last season and has an OPS north of .850 should be ranked ahead of guys like Dansby Swanson (#80), Whit Merrifield (#70) and Shohei Ohtani (#73) at the very least.
Brantley might never be an MVP candidate like some of these other guys, but he’s been consistently good for almost a decade. Bad miss by ESPN on this one.
Should Be: 51-60