Houston Astros star Alex Bregman regressed a bit during the 2020 season.
Some Houston fans might not like this, but Alex Bregman became “Alex Regressman” in 2020. A-Breg was a second-place finisher in MVP voting in 2019 and was a pivotal piece in the Astros World Series push. So, how did the second-best player in the American League fall so hard?
The answer might be injury or mental psyche from the whole cheating scandal. Yet, every player will have that one year where their stats drop to the league norm, and 2020 was that for Bregman.
The 2018-2019 stretch for Bregman consisted of two All-Star appearances, an All-Star Game MVP, one Silver Slugger, and finishes of fifth and second in the MVP voting. The former LSU Tiger was doing it all. His OPS was ranging from .900-1.000, and he was doing great things at the hot corner. You have probably seen countless barehanded put outs from No. 2.
Bregman appeared in 42 games in the 60-game season, spending time on the 10-day IL at the beginning of September. The right hamstring discomfort came on the base path for him, and it was just another injury dealt with in the Astros organization.
Bregman has been known for getting on base more than striking out and led all of the MLB in walks last season, but this year his strikeouts outnumbered his walks 26 to 24. Speculation is surrounding the thought of him not knowing the pitch, but Bregman didn’t look like himself at all this season. The hamstring issues might’ve been lingering the whole season for the Astros star.
Along with on base struggles, Bregman’s numbers dropped to his 2016 rookie stats. In almost the same amount of games, he had a higher BA (.264), but lower OPS. His 2020 OPS is what stood out. At .801, that is higher than league average, but isn’t showing the homer happy hitter we knew the last two years.
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
Bregman is a veteran postseason player at only 26. He has been to four consecutive ALCS and two World Series. Yet, the struggles were showing in the ALWC and the ALCS. Only in the ALDS did Bregman show out. With an OPS of 1.167, the third baseman was showing a great Win Probability of .2 after being the negatives for every other series.
Along with hitting issues, Bregman’s fielding declined. His percentage dropped from .986 to .979, but over a 162-game season, this number would’ve fluctuated. Other than the numbers, you can make the observation by human eye that he was struggling with the slow rollers this year.
After pointing out all the ways Bregman has regressed to his rookie campaign of 2016, I don’t doubt his ability. It was a tough shortened season for a team haunted by a cheating scandal. Bregman is a ball player who gains energy from the excitement around him, and the 2020 Astros were struggling with injuries and lingering media issues. He is locked in until 2024, so don’t sweat on these issues. The Astros had a great 2020 run, but let’s hope for a more camera stare down, home run hitting Bregman next season.