The Houston Astros have been under a microscope for much of this season for obvious reasons, and rightfully so. This is a team hated by everyone in Major League Baseball, but should a player like Michael Brantley be excluded from starting the All-Star Game because of something that he was not a part of?
A Case For Michael Brantley
Michael Brantley joined the Houston Astros in 2019 after spending the first ten years of this career with the Cleveland Indians. One of the most consistent hitters in the game, Brantley has been often called “Dr. Smooth” for how he swings with the bat. A four-time All-Star and Silver Slugger Award winner (2014), Brantley has shown season after season why he deserves more recognition for his offensive prowess.
Brantley has had seven seasons (including this season) where he has batted .300 or higher. In the remaining seasons, Brantley has averaged around a .269 batting average. Brantley is not a hitter that will hit 30-40 home runs a season like Mike Trout, but he will find ways to get on base and drive in runs. That is what professional hitters do.
So, the question that was asked earlier, why is Brantley being excluded from the All-Star Game? A player who is currently leading the American League with a .345 batting average, nine points higher than the leading All-Star vote-getter in Vladimir Guerrero Jr., should be playing in the All-Star Game.
The game’s best player, Trout, currently on the 60-day Injured List and has been, since May 18th with a right calf strain, received 20% of the outfield votes versus Brantley, who only received 9% of the votes. How does that happen? A player that cannot actively play in MLB’s most prestigious game, aside from the World Series, should not even be on the ballot.
The real reason Brantley was not selected as a starter for the All-Star Game is that he plays for the Astros. A player that had nothing to do with what the Astros did back in 2017 has been excluded from the All-Star Game because of the mere fact that he wears an Astros uniform. The uniform cannot help a player hit .300 season after season. The player that wears the uniform is the one that hits .300 season after season.
Did the Astros cheat? Yes, but to exclude a player like Brantley that continues to put up MVP-type numbers night after night should be acknowledged for his hard work at the plate and should have been voted into the All-Star Game. Fans have the right to be upset at the Astros for what happened in 2017 but don’t exclude a player just because he plays for them.
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