In 2019, Astros’ Alex Bregman was the king of swag, but injuries injuries have made him look like a shell of who he once was.
If you watched any of the Little League World Series in 2017, 2018 or 2019 a majority of the kids playing said that their favorite MLB player was Alex Bregman. Why was this? It had a lot to do with the fact that Bregman was a great player for the Houston Astros.
In 2017, he had an .827 OPS, a .927 as an All-Star 2018 and a whopping 1.015 OPS in a monster All-Star MVP year in 2019. However, his popularity had just as much to do with how he carried himself at that time.
Bregman went blonde for a few games, shaved his mustache in the middle of a game and carried his bat to first base after a monster home run. But, the most memorable shenanigan Bregman had was in 2019 with his reoccurring iconic stare at the camera after a big hit. The guy was playing great and just having a good time doing it.
What has happened since 2019?
The Bregman of 2021 is not the same guy that we knew in 2019. He’s dealt with some injuries the last two years, specifically a broken injury in the 2021 playoffs that you could see was limiting how hard he could swing.
He strained his hamstring and missed 17 games in the shortened 2020 season, and missed a lot of 2021 with a quad injury. These injuries took a toll on him for sure, as he had the lowest OPS since his rookie season in 2020 and 2021, managing an .801 in 2020 and a .777 in 2021. That’s a huge drop off from his 2019 numbers.
Bregman also had to deal with tons of media attention, as the Astros’ sign stealing scandal was released right after the conclusion of the 2019 season. This could be taking a toll on him mentally, as there are multiple instances of fans getting on his case.
The prime example of this is the video of a young fan in Boston asking for a photo with him, and when Bregman politely accepts the offer, the fan calls him a cheater and says some other expletives. You can watch the video here.
No matter how well an athlete can shut out that kind of noise, it’s going to have some kind of effect on you, especially with a guy as nice as Bregman is. Let’s be honest, the Astros get booed and called cheaters in every stadium that is not Minute Maid Park.
Bregman has become somewhat of a YouTube star recently, and also launched his new salsa brand, Breggy Bomb Salsa. It launched in 2018 but didn’t gain traction until this past year, as he has been doing a lot of marketing and commercials for it. Bregman also got married to his girlfriend Reagan in late 2020.
The main thing that I have taken away here, is that his shenanigans are gone. There haven’t been any the past two years. There’s no camera stare, no big celebrations and no carrying the bat to first base (my personal favorite). I’m not sure if this is due to the sign stealing scandal or him just simply growing up. But, he doesn’t necessarily need these to have swag.
How Bregman can reclaim his Swag
He needs to find his 2019 hitting form. Simple as that. He’s always been a great fielder, and I expect that to continue in 2022. He will be completely healthy for spring training, so expect his bat to come alive again.
I am very curious to see that if his bat does come back, will the shenanigans come with it? According to his Instagram he went blonde again this past week, so it looks like anything can happen.
Bregman has been my favorite Astro since he played in the Futures game in 2016, and he’s still my favorite player today. The 2022 season is the Bregman revenge tour, and it’s up to him to go out there and take it.