Brantley honored to be a first time All-Star
JUL 06, 2014 7:07p ET
CLEVELAND -- What many have thought for most of the season became official on Sunday night -- Michael Brantley is an All-Star.
Brantley became the 106th player in Indians history to be named to the All-Star Game as he was voted in by the players to participate in the July 15 game at Target Field in Minneapolis. He was sixth in the final fan voting.
"I don't know if you can put it into one sentence or words what an awesome feeling it is," Brantley said. "It means a lot that my peers voted me in because of how I play and respect the game. I'm fortunate, blessed and lucky to have the opportunity."
Manager Terry Francona informed Brantley that me made the American League squad this morning and said that it was one of the more enjoyable conversations that he has had with a player in awhile.
"It shows the respect that players have for him and how his reputation is growing throughout the league," Francona said. "What we are seeing is the natural growth of a good, young player. He is learning not only about himself but about the league. He is stronger in his legs and understands the hitter's counts better."
In Sunday's 4-1 win over Kansas City, Brantley had two hits and drove in a run. He is fourth in the American League in batting average (.323), ninth in RBI (57) and is second in the Majors with a .366 average in home games.
Dating back to June 9, Brantley has hit safely in 17 of his last 22 games, batting .386 (32 for 83) with 10 extra-base hits, 15 RBI and 12 multi-hit games. He was 7 of 13 this past weekend as the Tribe took two of three from the Royals.
Even though many have had Brantley penciled in as an All Star for awhile, Brantley tried to shut off any talk about that until the announcements were made.
When asked what he is looking forward to, Brantley said just soaking up the experience and getting to socialize with other players on the squad. The more immediate thing he relished was talking to his family including his dad, former Major Leaguer Mickey Brantley, about making it.
Oakland's Yoenis Cespedes and Kansas City's Alex Gordon are the other outfield reserves. Cespedes and Brantley are tied for the AL lead in outfield assists with 10.
Indians pitcher Corey Kluber is part of the MLB.com Final Vote for the final spot on the AL roster. Voting started Sunday night and continues until 4 p.m. on Thursday.
"If you ask every single person in that locker room if there is one person they would want to represent our team it is Brantley," Kluber said. "The way he plays and the guy he is he is as deserving as anyone in the league."