Michael Brantley – LF/DH
Brantley comes in as the most expensive offseason addition, signing a $32 million two-year contract with the Astros. So far this season, the former free agent has been worth every penny, and then some.
He’s having one of the best years of his career and has been rewarded for it, getting selected to attend his fourth All-Star appearance. Brantley is mirroring his 2014 season when he was third on the ballot for the MVP, getting 45% of the votes. This year, he is actually on track to top several categories of that season.
He’s is currently third in the American League in batting average (.318), fourth in doubles (24), and fifth in total hits (104). His BA and 2Bs lead the team and he is in the top three in many of the offensive categories. Brantley’s slash lines sits at .318/.378/.508 with an OPS of .885.
He has been a model of consistency for the Astros this season. He started the season out a little slow with his BA dipping down to .179 on April 5, but from that point on it continued to climb. On April 27, Brantley’s average was up to .307 and he’s never looked back since, never letting his average dip below .300 again.
Brantley has been one of the teams best clutch hitters, coming through when needed. With runners in scoring position he is batting .338. and that goes up to .406 with RISP and two outs. He has struck out just 35 times this season averaging a strikeout every 9.3 at-bats.
No, the Astros didn’t get one of the top sought after players in the offseason, like a Bryce Harper. But the last time I checked, that $300 million outfielder isn’t on the 2019 All-Star Team. So, I’d say Jeff Luhnow got a darn good bargain in Brantley.