Dante Ramon Brinkley (listed as Dant'e Brinkley in college)
- Bats Left, Throws Left
- Height 5' 11", Weight 180 lb.
- School Southwest Missouri State University
- High School Belleville East High School
- Born August 21, 1981 in Centreville, IL USA
Dante Brinkley is a former minor league baseball player who played from 2003 to 2009. He was drafted in the 23rd round of the 2003 amateur draft by the New York Mets and was signed by scout Quincy Boyd.
Brinkley emerged as a top collegiate performer as a sophomore in 2001. He hit .374, 5th in the Missouri Valley Conference. He led the Conference with 12 triples, tying Rickie Weeks for the most three-baggers in NCAA Division I. He batted .345/.418/.514 as a junior with 25 steals in 29 tries. He batted just .184 for the Harwich Mariners that summer in the Cape Cod League. The San Francisco Giants took him in the 48th round of the 2002 amateur draft but he did not sign. In 2003, he batted .345/.413/.518, stole 24 bases and led the Missouri Valley Conference in hits (96) and tied Adam Boeve for the most runs (68). Brinkley, a senior, was named to the All-Conference team as an outfielder.
He began his professional career in 2003, playing for the Kingsport Mets. That year he hit .303/.399/.394 with nine stolen bases in 16 tries in 142 at-bats. In 2004, he played for three different teams: the St. Lucie Mets (five games), Brooklyn Cyclones (62 games) and Capital City Bombers (32 games). In 99 total games, he hit .288 with nine home runs and 17 stolen bases. He finished third in the New York-Penn League with a .316 average, behind Ben Zobrist and Chris Patrick and made the NY-PL All-Star team as one of the outfielders.
He played with St. Lucie and the Hagerstown Suns in 2005, hitting .318 (.364/.477/.621 with Hagerstown, .266/.367/.391 with St. Lucie) with 15 home runs and 29 stolen bases (in 48 tries). He led Mets farmhands in runs (84) and OBP (.427) and would have led the South Atlantic League in average had he played enough to qualify.
On December 5, 2005, he was traded to the Florida Marlins with Gaby Hernandez for Paul Lo Duca. With the Jupiter Hammerheads in 2006, he hit .234/.347/.360 with 34 stolen bases in 47 tries and 139 strikeouts in 406 at-bats. He hit .349/.451/.744 with 5 homers in 12 games with the Hammerheads in 2007; however he hit only .257/.345/.428 with in 95 games with the Carolina Mudcats, giving him a .268 batting average overall. He hit 16 home runs and stole 19 bases while being caught 9 times.
All told, he hit .272/.373/.425 with 54 home runs, 253 RBI and 115 stolen bases in career 579 games.