It won’t take long for MLBbro free agent Michael Brantley to sign with a team. At the seasoned age of 35, Brantley can still swing it with the best of them and his contact-hitting approach makes him a valuable bat for any contending team.
Brantley won a well-deserved World Series ring with the Houston Astros in his final season with the team, despite missing the playoffs after getting surgery to repair a torn labrum. Brantley was limited to 64 games. His batting average dipped to .288, his first sub-.300 batting average in four seasons.
Since he arrived in Houston in 2019, Brantley AKA “the Professional” has had a .306 batting average and made two All-Star games, while maintaining a positive influence on the locker room – even when he wasn’t able to take the field. His leadership was credited during Dusty Baker’s boys’ World Series run.
At this stage in his career Brantley won’t be playing 150 games in any team’s outfield, but he can still deliver with the wood. At least that’s what his stats say as the only MLBbro on the Houston Astros posted a 127 wRC+ in 277 plate appearances last season, with more walks (31) than strikeouts (30). He has put up a wRC+ of 120 or better in each of the last five years, with a .367 on-base percentage during that span.
His veteran presence and class will be missed in the Astros locker room, but there are a bevy of talented squads who have unpolished young talent that could use a professional role model such as Brantley to elevate them to the next level.