Brenton Doyle’s Improved Offensive Approach After Mixed Rookie Season

Brenton Doyle was a one-sided player in 2023, winning a Gold Glove but without much offense. This year, he is becoming a complete player.

DENVER, CO - MAY 14: Brenton Doyle #9 of the Colorado Rockies celebrates as he rounds the bases after hitting a fifth inning solo homerun in a game against the Philadelphia Phillies at Coors Field on May 14, 2023 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images)

He’s the best outfielder no one is talking about — and he’s without a doubt the best center fielder the Colorado Rockies have ever had.

But not enough folks are talking about Brenton Doyle — and they should be.

Here’s why.

Wait. Isn’t Doyle the Excellent Defender?

Yes, that’s the guy. If you’ll recall in his rookie season, he won a Gold Glove — while patrolling the most challenging outfield in MLB — by making plays like this one:

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That was, he told me after winning his first MLB Gold Glove, his favorite catch of the season. “It was just a pretty surreal catch, especially at Fenway,” Doyle said. “I mean, the history of that ballpark, and they’re notorious for their fans there, and to hear some applause from their fans, even from diehard Red Sox fans, as an away team was pretty cool.”

Plus, the man has a cannon for an arm:

And in 2024, he’s pretty much picked up where he left off. Take this for example:

At this point, you may be saying, “Sure, whatever. Even marginal outfielders make an occasional stellar catch.”

Fair enough. Let’s look at the data, which reinforces everything the eye test is showing.

He’s logged 739.0 innings in center, the third most among all center fielders — and Doyle has done this with half of his games at elevation. His 2.7 UZR ranks him third, and his seven OAA ties him for third. He’s also third with an FRV of eight. This year, DRS is not enthused about Doyle’s play (-2), but by all other metrics, he’s a top three defender.

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Then there’s the arm. He’s second among all MLB defenders in terms of arm strength with a 98.1. (His left fielder, Nolan Jones, is first at 98.7.)

His defense may be down a tick from 2023, but Doyle is still elite.

But the Offense Is Not Good, Right?

Actually, that’s changed — a lot.

Last year, Doyle was not good offensively — as in he hit like a pitcher. He finished 2023 with a slashline of .203/.250/.343 with a wRC+ of 43. (You read that right.) It was Doyle’s defense that kept him in the lineup. Plus, he stole 22 bases. The problem was that he did not get on base enough to make the most of his speed.

Doyle knew something had to change, so he began making adjustments toward the end of the 2023 season. (Read more about that here.)

“This offseason was big for me to work on my swing,” Doyle said back in April. “And the biggest thing is just trying to make it a little bit more simple and efficient — a little less body movement in my swing and let my eyes work a little bit better. So far, so good.”

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He’s continued to be effective.

Currently, he’s slashing .272/.336/.440 with a wRC+ of 103. Yes, he’s more than doubled his wRC+.

Add to that 20 stolen bases and 11 home runs, and Doyle is on track to have an excellent sophomore season. Currently, he is one of four players in the Majors with at least 25 extra-base hits, 20 stolen bases and 10 homers.

In fact, he was so good last week — hitting .524 (11-for-21) with four homers, nine RBI, four doubles, four walks, five runs scored, and a stolen base in six games — that he won NL Player of the Week honors.

It may be a terrible season for the Colorado Rockies, but there’s no doubt about it: Oh, Doyle rules.