Brennan Philip Boesch (born April 12, 1985) is an American professional baseball outfielder and first baseman who is currently a free agent. He is 6′ 4″ and weighs 235 pounds. Boesch won the American League Rookie of the Month Award the first two full months he was in the major leagues. He was the starting right fielder for three years with the Detroit Tigers during their dominance of the AL Central, and then with the New York Yankees in 2013 until being sidelined by a shoulder injury. Fully recovered from the injury, Boesch dominated AAA with a batting championship in 2014 and a league second place finish in 2015. Major League call-ups and opportunities were limited with the Angels in 2014 and the rebuilding Reds in 2015, and so Brennan has signed with the Boston Red Sox for the 2016 campaign.
A Team Player
A team leader at every level and every stop, Brennan earned MVP awards on four different teams and became a starting outfielder for Major League Baseball’s World Series-bound Detroit Tigers – Brennan’s focus on teamwork is a life lesson well-learned.
“A Flair for the Spectacular”
The University of California at Berkeley honored Brennan with the cover story for its baseball program entitled, “A Flair for the Spectacular.” It is true, as the UC Berkeley story begins, that when Cal’s coaches came to scout Brennan at a high school playoff game, they only saw him swing a bat three times… all mammoth homeruns. It is true too that he homered in his first college at bat; just missed a homer off the wall in his first Major League at bat; and when he returned to play against the LA Dodgers in front of many friends and family – he treated a sold-out Dodger Stadium to a shot out of the ballpark.
With flair for the spectacular Brennan earned his many honors and awards, in the Major Leagues as a starter on a World Series team, as AL Rookie of the Month three times, as an MVP in high school and college, an All-American in high school and college, as a finalist for College Player of the Year, as AA Homerun Champion, as AAA Batting Champion, and as every level he has competed.
High School Career
Boesch played high school baseball at Harvard-Westlake School in North Hollywood, Los Angeles. As a junior, Baseball America ranked him one of the top 25 prospects in the country. He won the World Wood Bat Championship as a member of Team Baseball America, was selected Best Hitter at the Area Code Games, Best Power Hitter at the Team One Nationals and won the Daily News Invitational Home Run Derby. In his senior year he batted .490 with seven home runs and was selected MVP, First Team All-CIF Academic Team, and a First Team High School All-American for the All-American Game.
Read More – Swinging for the Majors – Palisades Post
On the day University of California coaches came to scout him, Boesch swung at only three pitches – all for home runs. Highly recruited by professional scouts and colleges, Boesch chose the University of California, Berkeley, where he hit the ball out of the park in his first college at bat. Boesch played three years of college baseball at Berkeley from 2004–06. He was awarded All-Pac-10 first team honors as a center fielder. He was the winner of the 2005 Clint Evans Award as the team’s best hitter and co-winner of the team award for Most Valuable Player.
Following his junior season, he was drafted in the third round of 2006 Major League Baseball Draft by the Detroit Tigers.
Boesch began his minor league career in 2006 with the short season Oneonta Tigers, where he was a NY-Penn League All-Star. With the Single-A West Michigan Whitecaps, in 2007, Boesch led all of Single A in RBIs and was third in hits. With the Double-A Erie SeaWolves, Boesch led the Eastern League in home runs (28) and won the MILB Round Trippers Award for leading all of AA in home runs, en route to his selection by Baseball America as Best Power Prospect AA. With the AA Seawolves, Boesch was named the Seawolves’ Most Valuable Player, League Mid-Season All-Star, Post-Season All-Star, led the League in Total Bases (1st), Extra Base Hits (1st), Runs (4th), RBIs (3rd), and Boesch also won a Gold Glove as he led the League with 15 Outfield assists. Boesch was added to the Tigers 40-man roster and started the 2010 season with the Triple-A Toledo Mud Hens. After winning Tigers Minor League Player of the Month in his first month in AAA, Boesch was called to the Major Leagues on April 23, 2010.
Detroit Tigers (2010-2012)
The Tigers called up Boesch from the Toledo Mud Hens to replace the injured Carlos Guillén on April 23, 2010. Boesch made his major league debut the same day in a game against the Texas Rangers. Boesch hit a double off the left-field wall on the first pitch in his first major league at-bat.
Boesch hit his first major league home run—a grand slam off Los Angeles Angels pitcher Joel Piñeiro—on April 30. Coming in the same inning as Scott Sizemore’s first career home run, it was the first time two Tigers had hit their first career home runs in the same inning since Pop Dillon and Kid Elberfeld did it in 1901.
Boesch was named the American League Rookie of the Month for May and June 2010 and Tigers Player of the Month in June. In his rookie season Boesch topped all American League rookies with 14 home runs and 67 RBIs. He finished fifth in the AL Rookie of the Year voting.
After placing fifth in American League Rookie of the Year voting, Boesch’s 2011 campaign began with him earning a starting position in the Tigers outfield. He started the season strong, leading the American League in June with 41 hits and a .380 batting average, but after establishing career bests with 75 runs scored, 121 hits, 16 home runs, and a .283 batting average, Boesch’s season ended when he suffered a torn ligament in his hand in early August. It was the first time in his baseball career that Brennan had been sidelined by a serious injury.
His 2011–12 off-season focused on a long post-surgery rehabilitation, and Boesch started the 2012 season slowly. He had his best month in July, when he hit .295, with 4 home runs and 17 RBIs. But after July, with his playing time reduced, Boesch completed his season with a .240 batting average, 12 home runs and 54 RBIs. Against the White Sox, in two key games during the pennant race, Boesch hit two game-winning home runs off Sox lefty Chris Sale, the only home runs Sale gave up all year to a left-handed batter
Eligible for arbitration after three years of MLB service, the Tigers, in January, 2013, signed Boesch to a one-year, $2.3 million contract for the 2013 season, but the Tigers also signed free agent All-Star outfielder Torii Hunter.
New York Yankees (2013)
With Hunter lodged in right field, the Tigers released Boesch on March 13, 2013. The very next day the New York Yankees offered Boesch a Major League contract. In 23 games with the Yankees, Boesch hit .275 with 3 homeruns, and posted career highs with a slugging % of .529 and OPS of .831. On two different occasions, May 8 versus the Colorado Rockies and May 25 versus the Tampa Bay Rays Boesch delivered clutch game winning hits in the ninth inning.
In June, Boesch was shut down by a muscle tear that sidelined him for rehab. In the fall, Boesch played for the Escondigo Leones of the Dominican Republic Winter League where among other things he worked on sharpening his eye. Boesch was among league leaders in bases on balls and showed no ill effects from the injury that sidelined him.
Los Angles Angels (2014)
Staying close to home, Boesch signed with the Los Angeles Angels in the offseason. Looking forward to showing the baseball world a complete recovery, Boesch did far more than that. He dominated AAA, earning honors as the League’s Batting Champion, and as the AAA leader in slugging percentage and OPS. He finished at or near the top in homeruns, extra bases, total bases, and RBI’s. No question Brennan was back. In one of several call-ups with the Angels, he hit two of the longest homeruns ever seen in Angels Stadium.
Cincinnati Reds (2015)
Seeking opportunity that never came, Boesch signed with the Reds and then earned his roster spot with an All-Star caliber spring training. But as the Reds fell into a dismal season, Boesch found himself again at AAA in Louisville – where again, he dominated AAA pitching, batting .326, good enough for second in the League.