Weight: 186 lbs.
Age (Draft Day)" 21.070
Previously Drafted: 29th rd. by BOS, 2012
In what's shaping up to be one of the more upside-down tops of the draft in recent years (weak talent pool overall, limited college arms and even fewer prep arms), Alex Bregman and Vanderbilt's Dansby Swanson are duking out for the first college bat to come off the board. Though Swanson is the consensus top collegiate bat available, I see Bregman as a bit closer to Swanson based on best overall player than others. The two are incredibly similar players (here's Swanson's profile from the weekend): so who should be the first taken?
Bregman was a highly touted prep shortstop when he came out of Albuquerque, NM in 2-12. Drafted by the Red Sox that year in the 29th round, Bregman didn't sign die to an ACL injury. (Of note: this makes Boston a logical floor for Bregman's draft stock should he fall to the 7th pick). Bregman has been nothing short of a rock solid piece of LSU's team for the last few years, if not dominant. He's durable (over 700 college at-bats), hit for average and power while maintaining a patient approach (.340 career average, 21 homers and a K:BB ratio under 1). Bregman has also shown some speed with his 57 steals, and he projects as at least an above average runner in the pros. Here's a screenshot of Bregman's college stats for your convenience:
Bregman has certainly done it all for a powerhouse program in Baton Rouge-but the big question asked about his pro future is his position. Is he a second baseman long-term, or can he stick at short? I personally think Bregman can be at least an average defender at short; however, if moved to the keystone spot (2B), he's above average at that spot. Though SS is seen as a more premium position, it's a luxury as well to have a solid defender with a bat at second base (hello, Jose Altuve). The consensus for Bregman is that he'll move off of short in the majors; my issue with that is he can make some spectacular plays at short and he's not exactly error-prone. There's a lot more that goes into it than that, but it's not as if Bregman is projected to grow out of the position either. At exactly six feet, he seems to have an ideal body for the position. Second is still most likely for Bregman's future, but he's done everything possible to convince a team that he can stick at short based on his performance this spring.
At the plate, Bregman has short, compact swing from the right-side and very good bat speed. He can generate some pull power as well, and could be a 12-15 homer guy at best. Bregman's swing is quiet without a lot of moving parts, which keeps things simple. I wouldn't envision a hitting coach having many issues or tinkering with Bregman's approach, making him is a popular candidate to move through a pro farm system quickly.
If Bregman falls to Boston at 1.7, Pedroia/Bregman comparisons and hot takes will abound. I can see the Boston Herald headline now, with a column probably from Dan Shaughnessy: "Sox Draft Next Pedroia" or something like that. Throw in Bregman's plus makeup and aggressive approach to the game, and it may not be too far off. At his peak, Bregman can be near a .300 hitter with decent power for a middle infield spot and at least average defense, wherever he ends up. Though his floor may not be as high as Swanson's, I'm in Bregman's corner as a guy who has a higher ceiling of the two.
Projected Draft Round:
Top seven picks
Will He Sign?
As a college junior he doesn't have to, but he most likely will.
(from Baseball America)