On this day last year, the Blue Jays signed Brandon Belt to a one-year contract

Photo credit:Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports
Ryley Delaney
6 months ago
A year to this day, the Blue Jays got one of their best hitters during the 2023 season.
On January 9, 2023, it was announced by San Francisco Chronicle’s Susan Slusser that Belt was signing with the Blue Jays, the first time he had ever played for a team other than San Francisco.
The veteran left-handed hitting first baseman had a rocky start to his Blue Jays career, slashing just .161/.235/.274 with a homer in 68 plate appearances for an awful 41 wRC+ Moreover, Belt had an astronomical 44.1 K% over his first month.
Of course, baseball isn’t just a month-long spot, as he’d go on to slash .274/.396/.538 with 18 homers in 336 plate appearances for the rest of the season for a 158 wRC+. Belt’s 33 K% strikeout rate remained high, but he walked 16.4% of the time, nearly double the 8.8 BB% he had during the first part of the season.
Overall, Belt ended the season slashing .254/.369/.490 with 19 homers in 404 plate appearances, along with a 15.1 BB% and a 34.9 K% for a 138 wRC+. In terms of batters with over 200 plate appearances, Belt’s wRC+ total far surpassed the next best player, as Bo Bichette had a 125 wRC+. With 100 plate appearances or more, on Davis Schneider’s 176 wRC+ was higher than Belt’s in 2023.
The 35-year-old’s future is unknown at this point. In early September Belt appeared on the Foul Territory podcast and admitted that it could be time to hang up the cleats. While there’s been no decision on the matter yet, Belt seemingly doesn’t have much longer in the big league.
Whether Belt is retiring, re-signs, or signs elsewhere, he was an important part of the 2023 Blue Jays team which made the playoffs. It’ll be hard to find that production again, but there are plenty of designated hitting options currently on the market, such as Rhys Hoskins, J.D. Martinez, and Jorge Soler.
Either way, thank you Brandon Belt for his incredible 2023.

As always, you can follow me on Twitter, Instagram, and Threads @Brennan_L_D.


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