Houston Astros: Alex Bregman ranks second at third base by MLB Network

Houston Astros, Alex Bregman (Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images)
Houston Astros, Alex Bregman (Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images) /

Astros third baseman Alex Bregman ranks second at his position by MLB Network. After a down year, what does the future hold?

The Houston Astros have been a team of resurgence, progression, and resilience the past few years, and while some talent has come and gone, the ball club still holds a bright future in Alex Bregman. In MLB Network’s yearly Top 10 by position rankings, The Astros third baseman ranked 2nd behind Houston native and Los Angeles Angel Anthony Rendon. The two flipped spots from the 2020 rankings, while both finished in the top three in MVP voting for their respected league.

Bregman had a down year in 2020, and while it looked as if he became “Alex Regressman,” the future of the former LSU Tiger isn’t something to worry about. The two time All-Star missed 18 games in 2020 with a hamstring injury, and like many other Astros players, this affected their season as a whole. Through 180 plate appearances, the right-hander slashed .242/.350/.451 with six home runs and 22 RBI. His OPS and OPS+ did sit above the league average, but they are significantly down from previous seasons. Another strong aspect behind Bregman’s game has been his ability to walk more than he strikes out. This wasn’t seen in 2020 as he struck out 26 times to his 24 walks.

The struggles were there in the small sample-sized season, and while nursing a hamstring injury, we could tell 2020 wasn’t Bregman’s year. Although, one upside was his defense as his fielding percentage was up .013% from 2019 at the hot corner.

Come October, Bregman only excelled in the ALDS against the Oakland A’s, while his slash line was .400/.500/.667. The right-hander has seen his inconsistency in postseasons in the years past, but he always seems to have one to two series where his OPS will climb into the 1.000s.

On Thursday, Brian McTaggart of MLB dot com reported that Bregman put on 27 pounds this offseason during his workouts. The Astros third baseman wasn’t happy with the overall ending to the ’20 season, as he looks to return to his All-Star numbers.

The Rankings

As we enter the 2021 season, the third base job will be an automatic lock for Bregman; this will be a reoccurring thing to mention for the next couple years. The 26-year-old is becoming the face of the franchise, and while having a down year, we can expect a bounce back season in 2021. MLB Network’s shredder is projecting him to be the second best player at the hot corner, and even after regressed numbers at the plate, they factored in an injury, sample-size, age, and previous success. This is an interesting thing to analyze as well with Jose Altuve falling in the rankings. If MLB Network noticed all these factors, then why did the Astros second baseman plummet to the 9th spot?

Houston Astros: Jose Altuve ranked too low by MLB Network. dark. Next

Bregman is projected to hit .277/.393/.528 in 2021 by Baseball Reference, and while these numbers are down from previous career highs, a healthy Bregman will surpass these marks. Over the past 4 seasons, he has sustained a total WAR of 21.4 and led the majors in 2019 in the statistic.

MLB Network still has the Astros third baseman among the top dogs, so do not worry about the future of Alex Bregman. While his numbers did point to a down year, the future is bright for the third baseman, and we can expect a resurgence in 2021.