Astros AM: The Rise of Alex Bregman Hitting Second
By Eric Huysman
The Astros’ Bregman bounced back after a rough start.
The Houston Astros currently have nine rookies on the team and are now waiting for another one in Yulieski Gurriel. One of the most anticipated rookies this year was the Astros number one prospect, Alex Bregman. After a slight delay, he finally made his debut on Monday, July 25th. He went hitless that night.
Soon after that, Luis Valbuena hurt himself running out a base hit. Bregman was now the Astros third baseman until Valbuena returned or Gurriel was ready. He made some impressive plays at third base to show that his glove was ready and elite. However, his bat took a while to come around despite some great swings.
Bregman was batting 0.53 (2-38) after nine games with the Astros. People were saying that he is not ready, and he should go back to the minors. A few people were saying that we need to stop wasting our time with Bregman, he was a bust. As much as I tried to ensure people that he will be okay through CTH, people were panicking.
Before Bregman came up, Jeremy Booth of Program 15 came up and told us that Bregman was a professional hitter who needed lineup protection. Booth suggested that the best place to bat was second, in between George Springer and Jose Altuve. Bregman started off batting sixth, which wasn’t working, so A.J. Hinch switched him to bat second.
He didn’t take off right away, but a 3-5 night helped get him back on track on August 6th. Following his two-hit game yesterday, Bregman has crept closer to a .200 batting average, currently at .198. Since his poor nine-game start, he has 15 hits in 50 at-bats, with a .300 batting average.
More from Climbing Tal's Hill
- Just how much better is the Houston Astros playoff rotation than the rest?
- Houston Astros: A Lineup Change to Spark Offense
- Astros prospect Hunter Brown throws 6 shutout innings in debut
- Always faithful Astros World Series champion Josh Reddick defends the title
- Michael Conforto declines Astros’ 2-year, $30 million offer
Six of those 15 hits are for extra bases with five doubles and one homer. After a half dozen almost homers, Bregman hit his first one at home on Tuesday versus the Cardinals. Some prospects take longer to adjust to the next level. Bregman fell into this category. No matter what the stats say, it appeared that was getting great swings during his slump.
The power that Bregman demonstrated between Double-A and Triple-A surprised everyone. People compared his abilities to Altuve’s early career, a good hitter with maybe some pop. After adding weight and tweaking his swing in the offseason, Bregman exploded for 20 homers in the minors this season.
Next: Jose Altuve: The Fastest Mr. 1,000 In Astros History, 2nd in MLB
His power was on full display in the first inning Tuesday with his first homer that cleared the right field wall. Instead of being an almost a homer player, he powered up to prove the haters wrong. Expect to be cheering for Bregman for years to come. He is the reason the Astros didn’t make a trade. They would have had to trade him.
***Stats from Fangraphs***