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Brennan Boesch

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Brennan Philip Boesch

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Outfielder Brennan Boesch came to the major leagues in 2010.

Boesch hit .466 as a high school junior; Baseball America rated him as one of the top 25 high school prospects in the country. His senior year, 2003, he batted .490 with 7 home runs. Going on to Berkeley, he batted .284/~.346/.541 in a part-time role. He hit just .138/.203/.156 with 41 strikeouts in 109 AB that summer for the Bourne Braves of the Cape Cod League.

As a sophomore, Boesch improved to .313/~.424/.567 with 21 doubles in 57 games. He was named All-Pac-10 Conference alongside Trevor Crowe, Travis Buck, Jacoby Ellsbury and Jeff Van Houten in the outfield. Boesch had placed 5th in the Pac-10 in average and was 4 shy of the leaders in doubles. With the 2005 Brewster Whitecaps in the Cape Cod League, he was 6 for 27 with 6 walks, a homer and 14 strikeouts, an improvement over '05.

As a junior, Boesch hit .313 and slugged .505 with 42 RBI in 54 games. The Detroit Tigers took him in the 3rd round of the 2006 amateur draft after being scouted by Scott Cerny. He was the #82 overall pick, between Tony Butler and Aaron Bates. He signed for a $445,000 bonus.

Boesch began his pro career with the Oneonta Tigers, hitting .291/.344/.435. He led the New York-Penn League with 54 RBI in 70 games and his 85 hits were second to teammate Scott Sizemore (picked two rounds after Boesch). He was also third with 127 total bases (2 behind leader Chris Vinyard) and tied for 4th with 6 triples, two shy of leader Alex Presley. He was named a mid-season NYPL All-Star (no postseason All-Star team was chosen). Baseball America did not rate him as one of the loop's top 20 prospects (Sizemore was the only Oneonta player picked, at #9) but they did name him the #16 Tigers organization prospect.

Moving up to the West Michigan Whitecaps in 2007, Brennan fell to .267/.297/.378. Despite his unimpressive slugging percentage and only 10 homers, he finished fifth in the Midwest League with 86 RBI. Baseball America dropped him to the #24 Tigers prospect in their postseason rankings. In '08, the Californian did nothing to raise his stock, batting just .249/.310/.379 for the Lakeland Flying Tigers with only 7 home runs. He did tie for third in the Florida State League with eight triples, the lone positive.

Boesch put it together in 2009, though. He batted .275/.318/.510 for the Erie SeaWolves with 89 runs, 26 doubles, 28 homers, 93 RBI and 11 steals in 13 tries. The lone negatives were 33 walks to 127 strikeouts and his mediocre OBP. He led all Tigers farmhands in runs, home runs, RBI and slugging. He also paced the Eastern League in total bases (269), extra-baese hits (61), home runs and outfield assists (15). He was third in RBI, behind Brett Pill and Carlos Santana, third in slugging (.066 behind Brian Dopirak), tied for third in triples (7), tied for fourth in runs and fifth in hits (145). He made the EL All-Star outfield alongside Quintin Berry and Michael Taylor. Baseball America rated him as the best power prospect in the EL though they left him off their top-20 prospect list for the circuit; they did rate him Detroit's #25 prospect. That winter, he went 14 for 66 with four doubles, a triple two homers and 13 RBI for the Leones del Escogido of the Dominican League.

Boesch began 2010 with the Toledo Mud Hens and burst onto the AAA scene by hitting .379/.455/.621 with 17 RBI in 15 games. That hot start, combined with a Carlos Guillen injury, led to his being called up to The Show, where he joined fellow rookie Austin Jackson in the 2010 Tigers outfield. Brennan hit 5th in his MLB debut, between Miguel Cabrera and Brandon Inge, while playing DH. In his first at-bat in the majors, he doubled off Rich Harden but was stranded. He later flew out, singled and struck out for a fine debut in the bigs. Later that week, he and Sizemore both homered in the same game. It had been eight years since Victor Martinez and Earl Snyder had been the last rookie teammates to both launch their first MLB homer in the same contest. His first long ball in the majors was a grand slam off Joel Pineiro. He succeeded Jackson as the American League's Rookie of the Month in May, hitting .345 with 8 doubles and a .515 slugging percentage during the period. He finished his first season hitting .256 with 14 homers and 67 RBI in 133 games.

Boesch was the Tigers' starting rightfielder for most of 2011, until tearing a ligament in his thumb in a game on August 21st. He appeared on the field a few more times after that, but in early September, team management confirmed he was done for the season. He ended the season with a batting line of .283/.341/.458, with 25 doubles, 16 homers and 75 runs scored in 115 games.

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