HOUSTON — The Astros were near to adding an impactful bat to their lineup on Monday, zeroing in on a left hander that is premier to fit in the middle of an order stacked with righthanded power hitters.

The development was reported by MLB Network insider Ken Rosenthal.

HOUSTON — The Astros were near to adding an impactful bat to their lineup on Monday, zeroing in on a left hander that is premier to fit in the middle of an order stacked with righthanded power hitters.

The development was reported by MLB Network insider Ken Rosenthal.

Even the 31-year-old Brantley, a three-time All-Star and 2014 Silver Slugger Award winner, might possibly be a candidate to slide in to the fifth spot in the Astros’ lineup order, between shortstop Carlos Correa and first baseman Yuli Gurriel. Currently, Josh Reddick is your sole other left-handed starter, using Tony Kemp as a lefty alternative from the bench.

A fast study of the strengths of Brantley implies this signing is surprising, given the recent record of utilizing hitters having a penchant for putting the bat on the ball of the organization.

The Astros already collectively had the strike out pace in 2018, and they strengthened that section of their toolbox. As stated by Statcast™, Brantley swung at 1,008 pitches and missed just 111 times past season. His 11 percent whiff rate was the 3rd lowest at the Majors, only steps ahead of Houston third-baseman Alex Bregman, whose 12.9 strike out rate was lowest.

His 11% whiff was 3rd smallest in @mlb. Alex Bregman has been 7th lowest. https://t.co/469CiJXhZ0

Brantley was one of those game fastball hitters last season, hitting .308 while slugging .473. In’ 18 he watched of the 1,388 fastballs, he struck out on them only 18 occasions.

The outfielder enjoyed a BounceBack season in limited him the last two seasons combined. He awakened .309/.364/.468 with 17 homers and 76 RBIs over 143 games in’18, when functioning because the Tribe’s DH seven times making 134 starts in left field.

Missed the majority of the Indians’ pennant-winning season in’16, playing just 11 games because of shoulder operation that was right the last off season. He missed 79 games after knee operation, in’ 17.

The Brantley signing has been the Astros’ first splash of their off season, but it’s likely they aren’t finished shaping their roster for its 20-19 season. The club might like to bring a starting pitcher to match co-aces justin-verlander and Gerrit Cole, and multiple press reports are still linking Nelson Cruz being a possible DH target.

Earlier in the offseason, the Astros exchanged for usefulness man Aledmys Diaz and signed by Robinson Chirinos to a one-year contract.

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