Astros Report Card: Grading the outfielders’ 2019 season
By Brian Murray
Michael Brantley: A-
Arguably, one of the best, if not THE best, transaction in the 2018/19 offseason. All of the fanfare and rumors seemed to surround players like J.T. Realmuto and Bryce Harper. The signing of Brantley by the Astros to a two-year $32 million contract kind of came in under the radar.
Brantley was also chosen to be a participant of the 2019 All-Star Game. He came in third in the voting behind teammate Springer. It was his fourth All-Star appearance but was his first as a starter. He was credited with the first RBI of the game knocking in fellow Astro Alex Bregman.
When Brantley was signed, many had questions about his health and durability. In the two seasons of 2016/17 combined, he played in just 101 games. He proved there was nothing to worry about, playing in 148 games this season. Alex Bregman was the only Astro to participate in more games, appearing in 156.
His slash line for the year was .311/.372/.503 with an OPS of .875. The BA, SLG, and OPS were all the second-best of his 11-year career. He slugged a career-best 22 home runs and contributed 90 RBIs.
Brantley’s 40 doubles were tied for the most by outfielders in the American League. He had the fourth-best BA for outfielders, just behind Yordan Alvarez, but led everyone in hits with 179. As far as his defense went, he just made it into the top ten with an rdrs of 8.
Brantley had a great season and has proven to be a top offseason pickup ranking up there with the best outfielders in the league. He will also be eligible for free agency in 2021, the same year as Springer. So you can see the importance of trying to secure one or both with extensions.