Happy Alex Bregman Day Astros Fans!
After what has felt like months of waiting, the Astros faithful had their wishes granted on Sunday afternoon. Following their 11th consecutive victory over the Los Angeles Angels by a 13-3 margin, A.J. Hinch announced that the former #2 overall pick, Alex Bregman, would be making his debut against the New York Yankees on Monday night. Danny Worth will be designated for assignment to get him on the 40 and 25-man rosters.
A product of Louisiana State University, Bregman began his minor league career with the Quad Cities River Bandits on June 26th, 2015. He began the 2016 season with the Astros’ AA affiliate Corpus Christi Hooks and hit .297 with 14 home runs and a .975 OPS en route to being named an AA All-Star. His .975 OPS is still 100 points better than any player in the Texas League.
In 18 games in AAA his slash line sits at .333/.373/.641/1.015.
Since being promoted from Corpus Christi to the Fresno Grizzlies, his production has continued to soar. In 18 games in AAA, his slash line sits at .333/.373/.641/1.015. AAA pitching wasn’t able to slow down his raw power either. Since joining the Grizzlies, he has added six home runs to his season total of 20, 21 if you include the All-Star game.
In a little longer than a calendar year, Bregman has forced his way onto the big league roster. With Carlos Correa, the Astros’ anointed shortstop and Luis Valbuena catching fire this summer, the former shortstop found himself playing in left field against the Albuquerque Isotopes this weekend. Marwin Gonzalez tweaked his ankle on Sunday afternoon, and Valbuena slid across the infield for the remainder of the game.
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Perhaps Bregman, who has appeared in 13 games at third base this year, gets his first major league start at the hot corner? With Yulieski Gurriel expected to join the team sometime mid-August, playing time in the infield will be hard to come by. But the Astros top prospect will have an opportunity to cement himself as an everyday player in the Astros infielder.
It’s not an exaggeration to say that fan expectations for the newest member of the Astros are at or above “Correa” levels. It would make the most sense to slide Bregman into the number two spot in the order and let him hit between George Springer and Jose Altuve, especially if Gonzalez does sit on Monday to rest his ankle. Houston fans are going to get their first look at a lineup that reads: Springer, Bregman, Altuve, Correa. Opposing pitchers be warned.
Best case scenario for his first night in the show would be two for four with a home run. Even if he takes a while to get going, this young man figures to be a huge part of the future of the franchise. He isn’t going to platoon and he isn’t going anywhere. Whether or not it’s in left field, designated hitter, or third base, Alex Bregman is here to stay.
*** Stats from Baseball Reference ***