Houston Astros News: Three things Michael Brantley adds to the team

Michael Brantley of the Houston Astros (Photo by Adam Glanzman/Getty Images)
Michael Brantley of the Houston Astros (Photo by Adam Glanzman/Getty Images) /
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Houston Astros OF Michael Brantley
Houston Astros OF Michael Brantley (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images) /

An incredibly solid left-handed bat

One of the main things to see here is that Brantley adds a strong lefty bat to a lineup the features nearly all right-handed bats. While the Houston Astros have previously expressed that they don’t necessarily feel the need to break up their right-handed bats but Brantley does just that.

However, he also provides much, much more than just an approach from the other side of the plate. The biggest thing he provides is an incredible contact rate that doesn’t miss a lot. Brantley swung at 1,008 pitches in 2018 and he only whiffed on 111 of them. That incredible 11% whiff rate ranked third best in the league.

Brantley also adds another high average bat to a lineup that can struggle in that aspect occasionally. Last year, he hit .309 and the past four years his average totals up to be .311. Beyond that, he also is adept at drawing walks as he boasted a .365 OBP last year and a .371 OBP over the past four years.

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The thing about Brantley is he will provide a boost in literally every aspect of the offensive game. Over the past four years, over a full projected season, he averages nearly twenty home runs, 100 RBIs, 20 stolen bases all the while keeping up those incredibly efficient average and on-base numbers. His average OPS of about .850 would also play extremely well in any lineup but the damage that it breaks could be exponential in the Houston Astros lineup.

Now, imagine the top of the Astros lineup with me. George Springer likely stays in the leadoff spot followed by some combination of Alex Bregman and Jose Altuve. After that, I’d love to see Brantley slot in at the four spot, potentially in the three following Bregman in the two and Altuve in the four. Regardless, having those four guys at the top of the lineup behind a (hopefully) resurgent Carlos Correa is the stuff of nightmares if you’re an opposing pitcher.