The Houston Astros have called up Alex Bregman to make his Major League Debut tonight. He’s batting sixth and playing third base against the New York Yankees and Michael Pineda.
It’s nice to see one team with a huge nucleus of young talent all on the same field at once. It never really seems to happen this way.
Scouting Report: There are very few players who can legitimately impact the game in every (possible) facet of the game. Bregman is one of those guys. Let’s start with the hit tool. Bregman’s swing stays in the zone with very little wasted movement. His above-average bat speed and ability to keep his hands in allows him to hit the ball with authority everywhere. He’s an assertive hitter who will jump on pitches early in the count, but isn’t afraid to wait for his pitch and will draw his fair share of walks as well.
The big development—and the one that makes him one of the best prospects in baseball now—is the power. Bregman has added some strength, incorporated more of his lower half, and with some increased loft has turned what was once an average tool at best now into one that could be above-average, maybe even plus. It’s mostly to the pull side, but he can take the ball out to right-center, and he’ll hit plenty of doubles that way. He hasn’t run as much as a pro as he did in college, but he’s a smart runner with good enough wheels to give you double-digit steals, and he won’t be anything close to a baseclogger.
Talking about Bregman’s defense is difficult, because the sample sizes at the positions he’ll be playing is miniscule. Most believed that he was going to have to move off shortstop, but the reason he’s leaving has less to do with Bregman and more to do with some guy named Carlos Correa. He’s a good athlete with excellent instincts, so whether he’s playing third or left or anything but center, he should be adequate there. A defensive star he is not, but a guy who will provide more good than bad is likely, if not a foregone conclusion.
Oh man, oh man, oh man. I’m excited for this one. I’ve got the Bagel Bites in the oven and I’m ready to go. Here’s to 15 years of Bregman/Altuve/Correa wrecking things on that infield!