Houston Astros: Taking a dive into Michael Brantley’s hitting slump

Houston Astros outfielder Michael Brantley (Photo by Ron Jenkins/Getty Images)
Houston Astros outfielder Michael Brantley (Photo by Ron Jenkins/Getty Images) /

At the time of this writing, Houston Astros outfielder Michael Brantley is currently in a 1-for-21 slump from the start of the season. What’s going on?

The Houston Astros are regaining their momentum back after an underwhelming 2-5 start to the season on the road against the Tampa Bay Rays and the Texas Rangers.  The team opened up their homestand against the Oakland A’s last night and were able to triumph 3-2 in the opening game of the three-game set at Minute Maid Park.

The Houston Astros laid out nine hits and relied on a timely homer from Carlos Correa to give them just enough edge to beat their division rival.  Nonetheless, the Houston Astros were 3-for-10 with runners in scoring position.  It made my stomach turn in regard to all of the opportunities that the team had to send those guys to home plate.

But baseball can be a fickle sport and things don’t necessarily go how you want them.  You can certainly categorize the same for outfielder Michael Brantley, who at the time of this writing, is currently in a deep 1-for-21 hitting slump.

Brantley, who signed a two-year, $32 million deal this offseason, was my favorite addition to the Houston Astros.  He was an All-Star for the Cleveland Indians last season, batting .309 with a .832 OPS through 570 at-bats.

With the uncertainty in regard to the development of Kyle Tucker, bringing in the 11-year veteran is the perfect solution to table the issue of finding a permanent mainstay in left field.

However, the start to Brantley’s season is less than desired as he’s currently .179/.233/.321 from

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behind the plate with a .555 OPS.  These are hardly the numbers he was able to generate with the Tribe but I just think it’s just a matter of him getting used to the ebb-and-flow of being a member of the Houston Astros.

What’s going on?

Well, it’s important to note that Brantley is still hitting well against left-handed batters (.273), something he’s good at so there’s no problem there.  The issue was his hitting against right-handed batters to which has been notched at .118 thus far.

As we’ve seen this season, if Brantley survives through later pitching counts, there’s a good chance that he’s going to strikeout.

He’s also struggling to have success against finesse pitchers to which he’s batting .091 with a .322 OPS.  So it’s just clearly obvious that he’s just getting his feet in the early goings and I do think that this slump will subside soon enough.  On the flip side of this argument, he’s hitting .364 with a 1.091 OPS against power pitchers.

I know, it’s early as he’s only had 11 at-bats but it’s important to note and pinpoint any issues that our guys are having early.  I honestly think that Brantley will be just fine in regard to his offensive/defensive prowess and his marked contribution to the Houston Astros.

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Let’s stay on the lookout!

Brantley, 32, has one homer, six hits and four ribbies through 30 at-bats this season.