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The season that was: Brandon Belt

New York Yankees v Toronto Blue Jays Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images

Brandon Belt was a free agent signing before the start of last year. He got a $9.3 million contract.

He didn’t have a good 2022 season, hitting .213/.326/.350 with 8 home runs, 37 walks and 81 strikeouts for the Gaint. That was a huge drop-off from his 2021 season when he hit .274/.378/.597 with 29 home runs. Brandon missed a good part of 2022 with knee troubles and had surgery to repair cartilage in his right knee in September.

The Jays were hoping for a bounce-back year and a left-handed power bat to bring more balance to the rotation.

Standard Batting
35 103 404 339 53 86 23 0 19 43 0 0 61 141 .254 .369 .490 .858 136 5 2 2 1
Provided by View Original Table
Generated 11/13/2023.

Baseball Reference has him at a 2.0 WAR. FanGraphs 2.3, giving him a value of $18.5 million to the team.

He had a .369 wOBA and a 138 wRC+.

Belt’s BABIP was .370 (up from .277 last year).

His walk rate was 15.1% (up from 12.4). The strikeout rate was the same as last year at 34.9% (down from 27.2).

Brandon’s line-drive rate decreased slightly from last year (21.5% from 22.6). The ground ball rate was up (30.3% from 27.4). Fly ball rate was down a bit (48.2% from 50.0). Many more of his fly balls left the park (20.2% from 9.5).

His soft contact was down (12.5% from 16.1), and hard contact was up (37.0% from 28.7).

Belt was, of course, much better vs. RHP (.256/.375/.515) and LHP (.235/.308/.265).

He hit much the same at home (.260/.374/.474) as on the road (.247/.364/.506).

Brandon was better in the second half (.264/.374/.583) than in the second half (.246.365.421) of the season.

Belt by month:

  • April: .170/.246/.288 with 1 home run, 6 walks, 27 strikeouts in 17 games.
  • May: .333/.470/.470 with 1 home run, 16 walks, 27 strikeouts in 23 games.
  • June: .260/.345/.500 with 2 home runs, 7 walks, 24 strikeouts in 15 games.
  • July: .191/.333/.413 with 4 home runs, 14 walks, 24 strikeouts in 18 games.
  • August: .284/.411/.622 with 7 home runs, 16 walks, 29 strikeouts in 21 games.
  • September: .296/.367/.778 with 4 home runs, 2 walks, 10 strikeouts in 9 games.

Despite the injuries at the end of the season, he finished well.

Brandon hit .208/.315/.390 with RISP.

Belt played 69 games as DH and 29 games at first base. He made 1 error at first for a .995 fielding average.

FanGraphs has him at a 2.6 UZR/150. Outs Above Average has him at a +1.

As a baserunner, Belt was a -0.6 runs compared to the average player. Surprisingly close to average, I didn’t expect that. He didn’t try to steal a base, and I’m ok with that.

Where Belt hit in the batting order (in games he started):

  • Second: 19 times.
  • Third: 30 times.
  • Fourth: 15 times
  • Fifth: 4 times.
  • Sixth: 19 times.
  • Seventh: 8 times.
  • Eighth: 2 times.

The team was 52-45 in games he starts.

His longest hit streak was 6 games. His longest on base streak is 12 games. Longest without a home run, 7 games.

His favourite team to face: Brandon hit .281/.439/.688 with 3 home runs in ten games against the Orioles.

Least Favourite? He hit .000/.077/.000 in 3 games against the Royals.

There was the very slow start. People have a hard time getting over a slow start but hitting great down the stretch more than makes up for it.

Belt was a lot of fun to watch. and great in interviews. He reminded me of Joe Biagini in interviews.

A free agent now, he’ll turn 36 near the start of next season. This year was a good rebound year for him, but I don’t know if he’d expect more than another one-year contract. FanGraphs figures he’ll get a one-year, $10 million. I’d be willing to give him that contract if it were up to me. Of course, I don’t know if Belt wants to play next or if he wants to return to Toronto.


If Brandon Belt was looking for a one-year, $10 million contract, would you like the Jays to sign him?

This poll is closed

  • 71%
    (161 votes)
  • 28%
    (65 votes)
226 votes total Vote Now

Before the season we asked:

  • If the over/under on Belt’s games played is 95 I’d take the..... 59% of us were right taking the over.
  • If the over/under on Belt’s OPS is .750 I’d take the...69% of us got it right, he was well over .740.
  • Which of Belt, Kirk, Jansen, Merrifield or Biggio would have the most home runs? 34% were right picking Belt (40% picked Jansen).
  • If the over/under on Belt’s games at first is 30 I’d take the...He was just one game under 30, 57% were right.


For his 2023 season, I’d grade Brandon Belt an

This poll is closed

  • 12%
    (28 votes)
  • 29%
    (66 votes)
  • 38%
    (87 votes)
  • 11%
    (26 votes)
  • 3%
    (7 votes)
  • 2%
    (6 votes)
  • 1%
    (4 votes)
  • 0%
    (0 votes)
  • 0%
    (0 votes)
  • 0%
    (0 votes)
  • 0%
    (1 vote)
225 votes total Vote Now