These three Houston Astros players will have a better year in 2023 while these other two will be just as good if not worse.
It’s good to be a Houston Astros fan. The defending champions of Major League Baseball look poised to have a serious shot at repeating in 2023. No ball club has been better than them over the last few seasons. They are always, at the very least, in contention for a title.
In order to get back to the World Series and come away with yet another victory, the Astros will need a few players to have better years. They did lose Justin Verlander in free agency. Other than Jose Abreu, they didn’t make a whole lot of improvements from outside of the organization.
These three Astros players look prepared to have a better year in 2023 while two others will be just as good, if not worse.
Why Astros outfielder Michael Brantley will have a better year in 2023
Michael Brantley has had a tough time staying on the field over the last two seasons. He’s back with the Astros after briefly hitting free agency earlier this offseason. Houston must believe he’ll be healthy enough. Despite playing in only 64 games last year, Brantley was his usual productive self.
Through four seasons in Houston, Brantley has slashed .306/.368/.464. He has quietly produced in a lineup full of bigger stars. Other than his injury-riddled 2022 campaign, every year in Houston has ended with a .300+ batting average.
Signed for only one season with a $12 million payday, the Astros may use Brantley a bit more sparingly than they have in the past. He’ll turn 36 early in the season. Keeping him fresher will have benefits later on in the season when they need his bat for the postseason.
Brantley has a chance to become an All-Star for the third time as a member of the Astros. There aren’t too many left fielders who can produce like he can. While sharing time at the DH spot alongside Yordan Alvarez and maybe Jose Abreu as well, the Astros can use him more purposefully and see if he has one final .300 season left in him.