Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Why the Astros signed Michael Brantley

After four business days, my acute insomnia has decided to kick in (work is going to suck tomorrow). Luckily(!) the Astros made a move and signed Michael Brantley to some deal (details later, probably in the hot links). I've never been all that impressed with Brantley. A large part of that is that he can't seem to stay on the field. He's never played a full 162 games. He's surpassed 150+ games twice in a 10-year big league career. When he is health, oh boy! Watch out!

 He's a career .295/.351/.468 hitter (that's a .339 wOBA for you nerds). He walks at around average and strikes out way less than Chris Carter (remember him!) at a 10.7% rate. Everyone seems to think that there's now an outfield crunch, what with the Astros still having the rights to veteran outfield Josh Reddick, in his prime George Spring, young Tony Kemp (love that guy) and the up and comer Kyle Tucker (dude gives zero fux, right now). I don't think Brantly will play the outfield though. Have you see his defensive metrics?

 His fielding percentage is solid at .994%, however, advanced metrics HATE the dude. His Defensive Runs Saved (DRS) and Ultimate Zone Rating (UZR) are well into the negatives for his career. TL;DR he's not good in the outfield. Which is why I think he fits nicely in the designated hitter role for the Astros, with an occasional start in the outfield or first base(?). Last year the DH hit for .243/.308/.480 line. Brantley provides more of a balanced hitter over what the Astros had last year. More actual hitting, better on-base percentage with the substitute for power. Tyler White was really good as the right handed DH for the Astros last year with a .276/.354/.533 line (.377 wOBA for you nerds). Brantley is a left-handed bat that (forgot to mention that) can compliment White nicely.

 What do you think? Brantley plays the field (dumb) or starts most of his games as DH (running theory).