Alex Bregman the Houston Astros top prospect joins @TakingStros
Alex Bregman was drafted last June spring by the Houston Astros, in one of the best hauls in recent memory where the Astros had three first-round picks. The second overall pick in 2015 was Bregman out of LSU, after formerly being drafted in the 29th round of the 2012 draft by the Red Sox. He chose to attend college, which helped him move up 29 rounds into the first round in 2015.
After making his debut in the minor leagues last season, he has already received an MLB spring training invite with the 2016 Astros. While he is unlikely to make the team out of spring training, the experience he gains here could go a long way in helping him get off to the right start to his career. This is the second interview I did with Bregman, you can read the original here: Keeping up with the Astros Prospects: ss Alex Bregman.
You can read the interview below or listen to the show on the link below.
CTH/TSR: I hope you had a good new year and are looking forward to a year closer to you reaching your dream.
Bregman: I can’t wait for it to get going, I going to be working out, hitting, and taking groundballs and preparing for a great year.
CTH/TSR: How did your first taste of professional baseball feel?
Bregman: It was a great experience, it was what I thought it would be like, a lot of fun and competitiveness. Everyone in the Astros organization is competitive, whether it’s the coaches or players, they are all fighting for a job in the big leagues, and trying to help the club they are on win a championship. I learned a lot, like how to be and act like a pro, that was thanks to some great coaches who gave me some insight on the major leagues, and I learned a lot about myself and what my body can take. I learned how to prepare better before games; it was just a great experience.
CTH/TSR: Were you surprised when you heard that you were invited to spring training with the Astros?
Bregman: No, I wasn’t that surprised. First off, I wanted to say it was an honor to get the invited; I was more excited than I was surprised. I’m ready to get the opportunity to compete and soak in as much as possible from the guys who have been through it. I ready to get out there on the field and learn, learn, and learn and hopefully it will pay off.
CTH/TSR: You spent the weekend with a bunch of kids with Rake City baseball camp, how was that experience?
Bregman: It was great, we had over 250 kids over a seven-day baseball camp, we were just trying to help out some of the youth. We finished up in Louisiana where I played college baseball, and it was good to give back to that community that showed up and supported us so much. I had a blast with it and helped the kids and with all the feedback that we have received said that they had fun.
CTH/TSR: Did you get a chance to pick Ryan Theriot‘s brains at all while there?
Bregman: Definitely, we all went to dinner and had conversations about everyone’s experiences. I’ve known Theriot since my freshman year, and we have had a lot of talks throughout the years, it’s been good to have him to look up to. To ask him how he played in the major leagues.
CTH/TSR: It seemed that after your sophomore year, some scouts said that you wouldn’t be able to stick at shortstop in the major leagues, but I guess you went out and showed them this year. Was there anything that you focused on this past year?
Bregman: I just try to be the best Alex Bregman I can, I don’t try to be someone that I’m not, I know who I am as a baseball player when I play shortstop I try to do two things, catch the ball and throw the guy out. Any way that I can do that, I would be happy to get the huge out to help the team wins the game. It sounds simple, but I try to focus on not doing too much. I look at the speed of the runner, which most people don’t get to learn from a guy like Theriot, I learned a lot from him.
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CTH/TSR: I did my research on you, you are a ballplayer, you always do what it takes to win the game. Going back to your traveling baseball days, you played catcher. How would you feel about playing third base or maybe the outfield?
Bregman: Whatever works for me, I’m just there to help the team win games, first and foremost. Wherever they decide to play me, I will be happy. I think that I have proved that I could play shortstop, if you can play shortstop, you can play anywhere else on the field. I’m just going to go out there and learn a lot from my coaches, instructors, teammates, and rovers to prepare myself to the best of my abilities, whatever position that’s at, I will be happy.
CTH/TSR: We do have a pretty good shortstop right now, things have a tendency to work out later in the future, do you keep in touch with Blake Swinehart, are you still good friends with him?
Bregman: I am actually driving home to Albuquerque, New Mexico to work out with him in the morning. He’s one of my good friends; we grew up together playing baseball on a travel baseball team out of Albuquerque. He had a good two years in the minors and hit .300 in the second half of last season. I have learned a lot from him having success and failures at every level in the minors. He told me that it’s a rollercoaster ride, its up and down, you just have to be steady throughout the whole process, he’s been a great person to look to for advice.
CTH/TSR: You were teammates at one time with Corey Seager with Perfect Game USA.
Bregman: Yes, I played with him when I was 16 years old, he’s a stud, and we also had Addison Russell. I played with Kyle Schwarber my freshman year in college. Correa was drafted in the same draft I was drafted in out of high school, I played with him in Perfect Game National. I got to see him again; he was nice to me when I came to sign at Minute Maid. A lot of guys that I have played with in the past are making it, which makes me confidence that I will get to the big leagues.
CTH/TSR: How did you guys decide who was going to play shortstop on that team between you and Correa?
Bregman: We had to rotate a lot, but we made it work and actually won the gold medal that year. We even played in the outfield, we made it work and had fun with it too.
CTH/TSR: I know your goal is to reach the big leagues this year, any idea where you will be when the season starts?
Bregman: I have no idea, and I’m not going to speculate about that because it’s not in my hands, I have no control over it. I’m just going to show up to spring training ready to work, ready to learn, and try to be as prepared as possible when I get there. I will be ready to go when the season starts, whatever level I am at, I will be working towards my goal of reaching the big leagues. I will try to figure out how to help my team this year.
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CTH/TSR: You hurt yourself as a senior in high school, can you tell us about that?
Bregman: I broke my middle finger taking a ground ball.
CTH/TSR: You were drafted by the Red Sox originally out of high school, in the 29th round because of the injury. You chose not to sign. Instead, you went to LSU. How hard was it to not sign if that could have been your one and only time to be drafted?
Bregman: A lot of people asked me that during my time at LSU, what I told everybody is when you have confidence in yourself, I have confidence in my abilities, that’s the reason. I thought I could find a way to improve myself and get better playing in college. When that happened, I knew that I could improve my draft stock. When a team drafts you, they put interest and beliefs in you. When you are taken in the 29th round is different than being in the first round. That was my goal in college, to improve my draft stock.
CTH/TSR: When did you know that the Astros were going to draft you?
Bregman: I found out about 30 seconds before I got taken. My advisor, now agent, told me that he would let me know, it was one of the best days of my life.
Unfortunately, that was all we were able to get from Bregman at that point to dropped calls. However, we got some good information from him. We will catch back up with him at spring training. He is just starting his path to the majors and it could be a short one with his talent.
You can follow Bregman at @ABREG_1 on Twitter. Thanks again Alex for coming on, it was fun.