WEST PALM BEACH (KXAN) — It’s no secret the Houston Astros have one of the most prolific offenses in baseball and this year they added another heavy hitter to the lineup.
An already stacked Astros lineup got even stronger this year with the addition of outfielder Michael Brantley, who signed a two year deal in December.
“I think he’s awesome,” manager A.J. Hinch said about his newest player.
His addition is a welcome one for fellow outfielders George Springer and Tony Kemp.
“He has the most time out of the position players. He is an established player in his own right, an all-star,” Springer said.
“He does a lot of things well, he’s definitely been a leader other places as well and it’s nice to have him on our team now rather than playing against him,” Kemp said.
The veteran believes his role is pretty clear on the field.
“Just be an all-around baseball player and do whatever I have to do to make the baseball team win the game that day, go out there, compete, enjoy and have fun with these guys,” Brantley said.
And he’s all business about helping elevate his new club in any way possible.
“I’ve been picking his brain hopefully he doesn’t get tired of me, he’s a guy who knows the game in and out, so I think he’s a special guy to add to this team,” Kemp said.
“His demeanor, his professionalism, his expertise, his production, I don’t know how many things I can say, there’s nothing not to like,” Hinch said.
Praise aside, Brantley says that there is plenty of room for improvement in his game, so he’s doing his part to get the most out of spring training.
“I still got some time at camp to improve my swing, get better jumps, and get my legs from under me and still preparing to be a better baseball player,” Brantley said.
He also acknowledges that even as an all-star veteran, opening day will give him the same feeling as when he made his big league debut in 2009.
“If you lose those jitters in your stomach, I don’t know if it’s real anymore, but I’m excited, I’m ready to go,” Brantley said.