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A guide for newly minted Brandon Belt fans

How to best enjoy your Brandon Belt

MLB: San Francisco Giants-Media Day Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

If Brandon Belt had a Family Feud category, it would look like this:

We surveyed 100 people on the street with the question “Why Does Brandon Belt Suck?” and here are the top 6 answers:

It’s a joke, but it’s also not a joke, because some people actually believe Brandon Belt sucks.

There is no greater or more contentious modern day Giants war than The Belt Wars. Those who think Brandon Belt suck will die rebutting the statistics the notorious “Belt Army” provide and that is the way it’s always been.... until now?

I say that with a question mark because it seems like Belt is finally ticking off boxes for both sides of the war but based on um.. let’s call it “historical data,” I’m not sure if it’ll be enough to convince haters otherwise. That being said, Belt’s on-base, WAR, wOBA, wRC+ and other advanced metrics look /kisses finger tips like a chef who made a great sauce/, while still satisfying the nay-sayers who have been complaining about consistency and power by hitting dingers on a regular basis.

I’ve always been adamant that the reason most people don’t like Belt is based on their own expectations of what he should be versus what he actually is. He was never meant to hit 70 home runs a season. He is never going to have military posture - his shoulders will always have a slight curve in them even if he’s killing it (comment down below if you would like a shoulder-analysis year-over-year). He’s not Hunter Pence - he’s going to give you sarcasm with a streak of stubbornness. And hey, I think that’s alright. That’s basically why I’m writing this - for those of you who are coming around on Belt and think he may just suck less than you thought, I would like to provide a quick how-to guide on the best way to enjoy your brand new Brandon Belt.

Don’t Expect Your Brandon Belt To Change His Strike Zone

You’ve heard it before - let the man call his own strikes and balls. Belt could be down 0-2 and all of a sudden he’s drawing a walk. Is this some sort of sorcery? You will enjoy your Brandon Belt much more if you accept that he has a good eye, almost TOO good. If he had a superpower, his ability to define the strike zone without that annoying digital box we see on TV would definitely be it even if it wouldn’t be particularly useful when fighting Thanos.

He knows exactly what balls he can drive and has identified other pitches outside of the zone he knows he’ll whiff at and have Bartolo Colon-like swings against. You don’t want your new Brandon Belt to look stupid, do you?

The man ain’t gonna change, and you’ll find Sarah McLachlan-levels of peace once you accept that.

Let His Strikeouts Just Be What They Are - One At-Bat

When I hear people complaining about Belt striking out my eyes literally roll into the back of my head and I worry they may never return to their original form. Yes, your Brandon Belt will strike out once in awhile. He does that. This is not a defect in the product.

It may seem like every time he strikes out it’s during a big clutch at-bat but a lot of that is subject to where he is in the lineup. Also, before you consider exchanging your Brandon Belt for a Paul Goldschmidt, consider that Paul Goldschmidt has 64 strikeouts to Belt’s 47. Just helping you compare those Amazon reviews, you know what I’m sayin’?

As long as he’s hitting baseballs into space or getting on base, does it really matter if he strikes out? Which leads me to my next point..

Know That Your Brandon Belt Will Find A Way To Get On Base

If there’s anything you can be sure of, it’s that your Brandon Belt will get himself on base regularly. According to Fangraphs, an above average OBP .340, a good OBP is .370, and an excellent OBP is .390. Here is what Belt has done in the last few years:

Brandon Belt’s OBP

Season OBP
Season OBP
2015 .356
2016 .394
2017 .355
2018 .413

This season, the only first basemen in all of baseball that has a better OBP is Freddie Freeman (.427). Brandon Belt is literally one of the best first basemen at getting on-base. Don’t worry about HOW he gets on-base. Just worry that he gets there. And he’s pretty dang good at it.

Resting-Bitch-Shoulders Is A Real Thing

Alright let’s just get this out there. Yes, your Brandon Belt was built with slumpier shoulders than say, a Buster Posey. But just like resting-bitch-face (“What’s wrong with your face?” “That’s just my face, okay?!”), his shoulders are also prone to carrying around a stanky attitude. It doesn’t mean he’s upset or sulking or celebrating or showing someone up. He’s just existing as a human. According to Belt, he gets his slumpy shoulders and RBF from his dad. So blame Papa Belt, everyone. Or don’t. I’m sure he’s lovely.

Do Not Attempt To Restart Your Brandon Belt

Or put him in rice for that matter. Your Brandon Belt does not require a hard reset.

At the end of the day, the best advice I can give any new Belt fan is to just accept Brandon for who he is. He’s streaky, he’s sarcastic, his shoulders have a low launch angle, whatever. That’s just who he is. We wouldn’t want to change how dead-pan Brandon Crawford is or how eccentric Hunter Pence is, would we? That would be sad, and also, wrong. If you reset your expectations of what you want him to be and realize he is who he is (and who that is is a pretty f’ing good baseball player), you will set yourself free. Don’t you want to be free, little birds?