Around the League

Brandon Leibrandt's Journey To The Major Leagues

Bridgewater, NJ – When Brandon Leibrandt's contract was purchased by the Miami Marlins from the Somerset Patriots on Thursday, August 6th, the left-handed pitcher's unique journey was inches of the dream of reaching Major League Baseball. That dream has now become a reality with the Marlins announcement on Tuesday, August 18th that Leibrandt's contract had been selected from the team's alternate training site. He is now a member of the Marlins' Major League club and is set to make his MLB debut.

 

This announcement comes 17 days since his last appearance in a game at TD Bank Ballpark.

 

With COVID-19 shutting down all of minor league and independent baseball seasons, Leibrandt took the chance to play in the SOMERSET Professional Baseball Series, a creation of the Somerset Patriots of the Atlantic League to bring baseball back to New Jersey. The league consists of two teams comprised of local players that are managed by the Somerset Patriots. The 13-game schedule all takes place at TD Bank Ballpark in Bridgewater, New Jersey. The combination of one site, and sticking to local players, was by design to help reduce the risk of COVID-19 spreading with travel from state to state.

 

“While our main focus of bringing professional baseball back to New Jersey was to honor our commitments to the community, it also serves as an opportunity for some truly talented players to showcase their abilities at a high level,” said Somerset Patriots President/General Manager Patrick McVerry.

 

Playing for the newly formed New Jersey Blasters in the series has led the former sixth-round pick of the Philadelphia Phillies to get a shot with Miami in 2020. The Marlins purchased the southpaw’s contract after he dominated through three starts in which he went 1-0 with a league-leading 0.75 ERA and 15 strikeouts over 12 innings pitched. In his final start for the Blasters on Saturday, August 1st, Leibrandt tossed five shutout innings and allowed just two hits with one walk and seven strikeouts for the win over the Patriots.

 

“It’s been two years since I pitched in a real game. With no baseball going on, I figured it was a good chance to at least get some innings in,” said Leibrandt. “I’m thankful that the Patriots put the series on. It felt great to be in front of fans and face live hitters again.”

 

The decision to take the field this season was influenced by his friend and former major leaguer Mark Leiter Jr., a member of the Somerset Patriots, who helped convince Leibrandt to give it a go. Living together in New Jersey for the series allowed both pitchers to push each other, stay in shape, and get their work done to be ready for the next opportunities available to them.

 

Leibrandt missed last season due to injury, but in 2018, he was 4-1 with a 1.42 ERA and 32 strikeouts over 50.2 innings pitched in 20 games for Triple-A Lehigh Valley. He seemed on track for an MLB call-up before the injury derailed him for the time.

 

“I just wanted to show I was healthy and myself again,” Leibrandt said. “I worked to fix some mechanics and have that feel where the ball is coming out good and trusting my pitches again.”

 

In 2017, Leibrandt split 25 appearances between Double-A (Reading) and Triple-A (Lehigh Valley) and combined for an 11-5 record, 3.62 ERA and 105 strikeouts in 136.2 innings pitched across 25 starts.

 

He joins the Marlins organization with an impressive 29-15 record, 2.88 ERA and 313 strikeouts over 400 innings pitched across 86 games in his minor league career.

 

He now has the chance to follow his father, left-handed pitcher Charlie Leibrandt, into an MLB career. The senior Leibrandt had a 14-year career in the “Big Leagues” with the Cincinnati Reds, Kansas City Royals and Atlanta Braves.

 

“It would be a dream come true,” added Leibrandt. “My dad had a great career and our stories have many similarities. He didn’t get called up until his late 20’s and has been a constant inspiration for me along the way. He was always there to throw and coach me. He’s been nothing but helpful throughout my career.”

 



Search Archive »




Browse by Year »

2020
2019
2018
2017
2016
2015

Browse by Month »

October 2020
September 2020
August 2020
July 2020
June 2020
May 2020
April 2020
March 2020
February 2020
January 2020
December 2019
November 2019
October 2019
September 2019
August 2019
July 2019
June 2019
May 2019
April 2019
March 2019
February 2019
January 2019
December 2018
November 2018
October 2018
September 2018
August 2018
July 2018
June 2018
May 2018
April 2018
March 2018
February 2018
January 2018
December 2017
November 2017
October 2017
September 2017
August 2017
July 2017
June 2017
May 2017
April 2017
March 2017
February 2017
January 2017
December 2016
November 2016
October 2016
September 2016
August 2016
July 2016
June 2016
May 2016
April 2016
March 2016
February 2016
January 2016
December 2015
November 2015
October 2015
September 2015
August 2015
July 2015
June 2015
May 2015
April 2015
March 2015
February 2015
January 2015