- Full name Robert Jacob Brantly
- Born 07/14/1989 in San Diego, CA
- Profile Ht.: 6'0" / Wt.: 190 / Bats: L / Throws: R
- School UC Riverside
- Debut 08/14/2012
Drafted in the 3rd round (100th overall) by the Detroit Tigers in 2010 (signed for $330,300).
View Draft ReportA draft-eligible sophomore, Brantly has a strong profile as a consistent backstop and patient lefthanded hitter. He enjoyed a breakout summer season in 2009 playing in the Northwoods League, batting .346/.411/.516 to earn top prospect recognition. Steady but not spectacular, Brantly is an exceptionally patient hitter. He does not have outstanding power, but he has the ability to drive the ball into the gaps and use the entire field. He employs a balanced and spread stance and may need to reduce the length of his stride. Drafted by the Nationals out of high school in the 46th round in 2008, Brantly is a good athlete for a catcher, and he runs well and has a mature backstop's frame. Defensively, Brantly has a strong, accurate throwing arm and quick release, with pop times that hover around 1.92 seconds, earning an above-average grade. He receives the ball well, is relaxed and comfortable behind the plate, and displays a knack for handling any pitch in any location without difficulty. Brantly's only below-average tool is power, which likely will relegate him to the bottom third of a big league order.
Organization Prospect Rankings
A third-round pick by the Tigers in 2010 as a draft-eligible sophomore, Brantly came to the Marlins along with Jacob Turner and Brian Flynn last July in a deal for Anibal Sanchez and Omar Infante. After a stint with Triple-A New Orleans, Brantly was called to the majors and pressed into regular duty. He profiles as an offensive-minded catcher with a solid bat. He makes consistent contact to all fields with a short stroke more suited to line drives into the gaps than clearing the fences, though he has the strength to reach double figures in homers. While he has lacked patience at times, he drew 13 walks in his big league apprenticeship, which may be a function of hitting lower in the order. His speed is solid for a catcher, though he runs more upright than most. Brantly's hands and feet are good behind the plate, and he gets rid of the ball quickly with average arm strength. He threw out 29 percent of basestealers in 2012. His receiving skills need further development, and he's prone to taking an occasional pitch off. Though stronger than he appears, he could benefit by filling out his lean frame. Having proven himself capable of hitting big league pitching, Brantly is in the mix for a significant big league role in 2013. He may be best suited as the lefthanded portion of a platoon with veteran Jeff Mathis, which would alleviate concerns about his durability.
Brantly's performance has been up and down since he signed for $330,300 as a sophomore- eligible third-round pick in 2010. He was mediocre at low Class A West Michigan in his pro debut but much improved when he opened last season there. He struggled after a July promotion to Lakeland, then hit .388 in 15 Arizona Fall League games. An offensive- oriented catcher with a short lefthanded swing, Brantly has a balanced approach and makes consistent contact to all fields, though he lacks patience. His swing is geared more toward line drives than loft, but he has enough strength to hit 10-15 homers per season. Though he's a well below-average runner, Brantly is athletic for a catcher. He has solid catch-and-throw skills and still is working on his game-calling, blocking and receiving. His quick release helps his average arm play up, and he threw out 36 percent of basestealers last season. The Tigers project Brantly as an everyday catcher, though others see a batfirst backup. He still has to prove he can hit high Class A pitching, but the Tigers may push him to Double-A.
A 46th-round pick by the Nationals out of high school, Brantly headed to UC Riverside rather than turn pro. He ranked as the Northwoods League's top prospect in the summer of 2009, then followed up with a strong season last spring that got him drafted in the third round as a sophomore-eligible. Signed for $330,300, he's a consistent defensive catcher with a patient approach at the plate. Brantly projects as an average hitter who sprays line drives to all fields and has a good idea of the strike zone. His present power grades as below average, but the Tigers see strength in his swing and believe he could develop into a 15-homer hitter. To tap into that power, he'll need to incorporate more of a load into his swing. He's more athletic and runs better than most catchers. Brantly also moves well behind the plate and has a strong, accurate throwing arm with a quick release. Despite his defensive reputation, Brantly looked a little stiff and mechanical behind the plate in his pro debut, and he threw out just 23 percent of basestealers. He did look more fluid later in the summer, so he may have just developed some rust after the college season ended. Brantly could begin his first full pro season in high Class A, though that might mean splitting time at catcher with fellow 2010 draftee Bryan Holaday.
Minor League Top Prospects
Brantly began the season with Erie but ended it as the Marlins' everyday catcher after the Tigers dealt him as part of a package for Anibal Sanchez and Omar Infante. Prior to the July trade, Detroit had promoted Brantly to Triple-A after he hit .311 with gap power for the SeaWolves in April and May. Brantly rarely sees a pitch he doesn't like, a fact reflected in his low strikeout and walk rates. The approach works for him because he has a short lefty stroke and the ability to hit the ball where it's pitched. He has virtually no power against southpaws, though he shows occasional home-run pop versus righties. Tall, lanky and agile, Brantly has made strides with his receiving and blocking technique, just about shedding the "future backup" tag. He erased 33 percent of EL basestealers, a rate in line with his career norm.
Background: Brantly's performance has been up and down since he signed for $330,300 as a sophomore-eligible third-round pick in 2010. He was mediocre at low Class A West Michigan in his pro debut but much improved when he opened last season there. He struggled after a July promotion to Lakeland, then hit .388 in 15 Arizona Fall League games. Scouting Report: Brantly is an offensive-oriented catcher with a short lefthanded swing. He has balanced approach and and makes consistent contact to all fields, though he lacks patience. His swing is geared more toward line drives than loft power, but he has enough strength to hit 10-15 homers per season. Though he's a well below-average runner, Brantly is athletic for a catcher. He has solid catch-and-throw skills and still is working on his game-calling, blocking and receiving. His quick release helps his average arm play up, and he threw out 36 percent of basestealers last season. The Future: The Tigers project Brantly as an everyday catcher, though other teams see him as an bat-first backup in the big leagues. He still has to prove he can hit high Class A pitching, though the Tigers may push him to Double-A to begin 2012.