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Could Michael Brantley Be Ready for the Nationals Outfield?

As we continue our search of the free-agent market, we look at another former/free agent, Houston Astros Outfielder: Michael Brantley.

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This offseason, the Washington Nationals have many needs. With that comes many many articles about potential free agents and where they could fit with the Washington Nationals, so bear with us. We will try to make sense of it all and explore the many options available, and it’s nice to speculate on everything, so here we go.

We recently shared our thoughts on if George Springer could fit in the Washington Nationals outfield, and while we think it would be a good idea, Springer does come with a hefty price tag.

There could be another option, also found previously in Astro’s outfield: Michael Brantley.

Michael Brantley signed a 2 year / $32,000,000 contract with the Houston Astros back in 2018, including a $2,000,000 signing bonus, $32,000,000 guaranteed, and an annual average salary of $16,000,000.

What are Michael Brantley’s Career Stats?

Michael Brantley at the Plate

During his 12-year career, Michael Brantley has had success at the plate. Brantley has played 1,245 games, hit 1,425 home runs, and 640 RBI’s, which earned him a respectful .297 Batting average and a .440 slugging percentage.

During his 38 postseason games that Brentley has appeared in, he has hit four home runs, 16 RBI’s and a batting average of .286, and a slugging percentage of .381.

Michael Brantley in the Field

Brentley has also performed exceptionally well in the outfield.Brantley has also played all over the outfield from Center, Right, and Leftfield. During his outfield career, Bentley has had 61 assists, only committed 15 errors, and has had a fielding percentage of .993.

So is Brantley a Good Fit for the Washington Nationals?

If he were to sign with the Nationals, it wouldn’t be so much of an ask to make him play in right field; however, Brantley has a lot more experience in left field, which would maybe force Juan Soto to move to right field.

What makes Michael Brantley a good option is because he has some great power at the plate and has had reliable performance in the field. Which the Nationals need both and doesn’t come with a hefty price tag as a George Springer would cost, so the Nationals can look to fill the other gaps that they require.

In a recent article, Todd Dybas from NBC Sports Washington made the case on why the Nationals should sign Brantley. One interesting reason that Dybas mentions is that Brently makes contact. From the article: “Brantley has an astonishing 96 percent contact rate when he swings at pitches inside the strike zone. That’s not a one-year sample. It is for his 12-year career. Even when swinging at pitches outside of the strike zone, Brantley’s career contact rate is 80.6 percent. This explains why his strikeouts totals are so low in an era of monumental strikeouts. The most Brantley has struck out in a season with 596 or more plate appearances is 67 times. In 2015, Brantley had 60 extra-base hits, 60 walks and 51 strikeouts.” 

What makes Michael Brantley a good option is because he has some great power at the plate and has had reliable performance in the field. Which the Nationals need both and doesn’t come with a hefty price tag as a George Springer would cost, so the Nationals can look to fill the other gaps that they require. Additionally, if the DH option does come over to the National League, Brantley can be used in a long term solution. 

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