Brenly anxious to see son get a shot
UNLV catcher eligible for upcoming First-Year Player Draft
PITTSBURGH -- Bob Brenly will be just like thousands of other nervous fathers on June 5-6. That's when Major League Baseball conducts the First-Year Player Draft, and his son, Michael, a catcher at UNLV, could be selected.
"I'm nervous for him," said Brenly, the Cubs television color analyst and a former big league player and manager. "I made an All-America team my junior year and didn't get drafted. I know crazy things can happen, but I think he deserves a shot, and hopefully somebody will give him a shot."
Michael Brenly was the starting catcher for the UNLV team, which ended its season Thursday in a 7-4 defeat to Utah in an elimination game in the Mountain West Conference Championship, played in Fort Worth, Texas.
The sixth-seeded Rebels finished 22-37. Brenly, named to the preseason All-Mountain West Conference team, batted .307 in 55 games (50 starts), with three homers, 11 doubles and 34 RBIs. He's been invited to a Cubs tryout camp in Mesa, Ariz., on May 28.
Bob Brenly was able to watch the last game of the championship, and said it was the end of a long season for his son.
"He kind of ran out of gas at the end of the season," Brenly said. "He was catching pretty much every game, and they were playing five days a week."
Michael's average was as high as .324 during the season, and he's faced tough competition. He did hit three home runs.
"I don't think he's reached his potential as far as power numbers go," Brenly said of his son. "I've seen him hit 500-foot home runs, so I know it's there. It's just a matter of finding a way to get it out of him consistently."
The young catcher got his first gear when he was 5 or 6 years old, dad said.
"He was wearing mine, and the shin guards would go from his ankles to his neck," Brenly said. "We got him his own set when he was young and he took to the position naturally. It wasn't like I pushed him toward it. I think it was basically the equipment. Most little kids like getting to wear all the gear and the mask."
Brenly and the Cubs will be in Los Angeles when the Draft takes place, and Brenly will be watching. By the way, the Cubs will draft 19th in the 2008 First-Year Player Draft, plus they have a sandwich pick at No. 41.
MLB.com will carry every pick of the 2008 First-Year Player Draft, which will be held at The Milk House at Disney's Wide World of Sports complex in Orlando, Fla.
"It will be more nerve-wracking for me than him," Brenly said. "I've told him a million times, it doesn't matter if you're drafted in the first round or don't get drafted at all, once you get a chance, that's what makes the difference."
Carrie Muskat is a reporter for MLB.com This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.