What Fangraphs ZiPS expects from the Astros third baseman, Alex Bregman.
Chris Sale, Chris Archer, and Jose Quintana have been targeted this offseason by the Houston Astros. While we don’t exactly know what pieces were involved in the talks, we can assume Alex Bregman was asked for in talks. With the Astros ABCs quartet including Jose Altuve, George Springer, and Carlos Correa, they represent the future. You don’t trade one of these players for a pitcher, at least, I hope you don’t.
It seems like everyone loves Bregman now. He appears to be mentioned in every trade discussion. Bregman was drafted in 2015 with the second overall pick out of LSU. Drafted as a shortstop, but with the presence of Correa, Bregman had been moved to third base. Bregman played better at third base than most people expected.
One person who never doubted his ability to play third base was Bregman himself. Bregman has come on Talking Stros a couple of times now, and he is very confident in his own abilities. The Astros are confident in his abilities as well. They don’t seem to want to trade him. After the poor start to his MLB career in his first 32 at-bats, Bregman showed his potential.
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Bregman’s ZiPS projections.
What is a reasonable projection for Bregman in his first full season, hopefully with the Houston Astros? We can look at some fantasy baseball projections which normally don’t come true. Instead, let’s take a look at Bregman’s ZiPs projections via Fangraphs. It’s hard to take it seriously when it still lists Colby Rasmus and Luis Valbuena are still listed on the team. However, these are very respected projections, highly anticipated by many people.
Many predict a .300 batting average for the rising star, but the ZiPS projection says that he will have a slash line of .266/ .327/ .448/ .775. While that may not be overly impressive, they project him with a 3.5 zWAR and compare him to Adrian Beltre. Bregman is also projected to have the third lowest strikeout percentage (14.4%) on the team behind Altuve and Nori Aoki. There should be some thought to moving Altuve up to leadoff so the low strikeout guys can get on base more often.
Bregman is projected to hit 18 homers while driving in 76 RBI’s. Could he score often batting second in front of the revamped lineup? Yes, but the ZiPS projects only 77 runs. All in all thus would be a good season for the Astros. He will get better with time, but he could be one of those consistent players like Altuve. We may not have acquired an ace yet, but we have kept a star.
***Projections from Fangraphs’ ZiPS projections***