Happy Alex Bregman day. The Astros have called up their top prospect to the majors. TCB staff reacts to his call-up and answer the question of how he will impact the Astros.
How will Alex Bregman impact the Astros this season? Where do you want to see him play most of the time?
The Fangraphs projection for Bregman this season is .270, .335, .435 and wRC+ of 106. I suppose that can be a baseline for my expectation. I would be interested to know if the other writers think he will be higher or lower. Of course, I always mention the cautionary notes about rookies: patience is the key, and it may take some time for him to adjust to ML pitching. As for position, I expect him to play mostly 3d base until Gurriel comes up, with Valbuena and Marwin sharing 1b. When Gurriel reaches the majors, Bregman may see more time in LF. But, overall, I think we will see him playing several positions.
I expect Bregman to play nearly every day until he struggles, rotating between 3B and LF, occasionally spelling Correa or Altuve on days when they play DH. Like clack, my expectation for Bregman is pretty close to Steamer's projections - I'll be very happy if he can hit .270 as a Rookie.
Bregman slugged almost .600 for the season between AA and AAA. I do not expect that to continue. He does have far more pop than I (or anybody else) thought he would, coming out of college. However, I do not believe those power numbers will continue against major-league-quality pitching. I also am going to hold my breath to see if he walks much - he really wasn't at AAA, though that may be more a function of how locked-in he was with driving baseballs than a skill deficiency.
A cautionary tale with Alex Bregman is that his torrid AAA start, much like his AA start at the beginning of the season, was just starting to taper off some. He was 0-5 yesterday and 0-3 each of the games before that, though he did draw a couple of walks in the 0-3 contests. That's one thing we can definitely see, though: his adjustment so far this year at each level has involved laying off more pitches and drawing more walks as the league's book on him has grown. He was in Triple-A less time than I expected, but his walk rate had already jumped more than a percentage point in three games from about 5.5% to its current mark of 6.4%, and that was after his walk rate in Double-A jumped to 14.7% by the time of his promotion. His K rate has spiked a bit to 14.1% in Triple-A, which isn't a bad number at all, really. I expect him to hover around 18-20% the rest of this season in the Majors in that regard, and I don't think the Steamer prediction of 106 wRC+ is far off at all. My main concern is his defense at third and in left field, mostly because his abilities there is an unknown quantity for me personally. Reports have been solid on his reads and routes in left field, so I'm hopeful that he will spend a lot of time out there once Yulieski Gurriel makes his also-anticipated debut later this season.
All told, it's a bit surprising he's coming up so soon, in my opinion, but I do think we can reasonably expect him to come up and hit, at least initially...before the league builds its book up on him.
I don't have any expectations for Bregman this season.
When I say that, it's because prospects rarely break out immediately like Correa. And everyone expects Correa to just get better, so was last year even a breakout? Baseball is hard and weird, and I've been disappointed a lot this year. Moran, Reed...we've seen some initial flops. Singleton in recent years. I'm not saying I've given up on them, or that Bregman won't be immediately good, but history says it's foolhardy to think that he will be.
I think he'll play mostly left field, with a decent amount of third and short mixed in there. He might hit, he might not. He won't keep playing if not because this is a playoff team. And that's another reason I have no expectations; we have the luxury of not needed Bregman to be immediately awesome. Bregman doesn't need to save the day.
I don't like heaping great expectations on rookies, so there is really only one thing I want to see from Bregman in his first taste of the majors: HELP US BEAT THE [insert expletive here] RANGERS!!!
Honestly, I will be ecstatic if Alex Bregman can produce at the level that Fangraphs projects. A 106 wRC+ being injected into this lineup could have a pretty substantial effect. This lineup has been really good lately, but even over the last 30 days in which the Astros have been stellar, 1B/LF/CF continue to be borderline black holes (62/69/61 wRC+ respectively). It goes without saying that adding a 106 wRC+ that can take one of the guys off the field that is contributing to those bad numbers instantly makes you better. Bregman can actually undershoot his projections by 20 wRC+ points and still be a net positive on this team.
Usually at this time, you are looking to trade for bats to fill those holes. If the Astros are able to just get league average production out of Bregman and Gurriel, you've improved your lineup considerably without trading away a single thing.
Pfft. Bregman is going to hit .320 the rest of the way. Meanwhile, Brady Aiken is walking five and a half batters per nine innings down in Arizona.
Thanks, Band of Brothers.
He isn't going to be Carlos Correa, but he isn't going to be Jon Singelton either. That is what I keep telling myself. You can't expect prospects to come up and light the world on fire from day one, but with Bregman, it appears that the Astros will be adding defensive value and versatility to the roster, which should give him some time to find his footing and get comfortable at the plate. Speaking of offense, I tend to agree with the general sentiment that if he can hit close to his projections I personally will be thrilled and I'm sure the Astros will be too.
Alex Bregman : Jon Singleton :: Holstein Cows : Procompsognathuses
... or is that "procompsognathii"?
Prospect Rotation Checklist this year.
Bregman - pending
Reed - needs more work
Tucker - needed more work, looks like he corrected his issues with the time down, pending
White - working on issues after being sent down.
Feliz - doing well
Devenski - doing well
Worth - DFA
Duffy - DFA
I guess like pitching you can never have enough position players to rotate through and see who sticks or who needs a bit of tweaking. I actually am starting to like this approach, which I think all teams would like to employ if they had the depth. It really gives us a chance to have talented options when someone like Singleton fails, you have a Reed or White waiting to fill. I don't always think it will be seamless, ex. our 1B situation this year, but at least minimizes the reliance on our top prospects to always succeed.
I believe Bregman's call up was in response to Marwin's injury yesterday. So I fully expect him to be the full-time 3B, sliding Valbuena over to 1B for the immediate future. This provides a perfect time to get his feet wet, and gain that valuable big league experience. If he is able to succeed, or even hold his own, and I am cautiously optimistic about his ability to do so, that will earn him playing time when Gurriel is ready to join the big-league roster, as he could slide into a mainly LF, as well as super-utility role.
In addition to the numbers and the statistics and the projections, I also think that just being around the team is super valuable for Bregman. Just imagine the value of him and Altuve going over strategy, or some subtle batting tips. Think about the conversation going on during BP, and the fact that he gets to see a consummate professional in Correa prepare for games day in and day out. Along with the youthful core of Altuve, Correa, and Springer, he also can receive a valuable perspective of Colby Rasmus, who himself had to live up to a ton of prospect hype. Bregman can also help by providing, even more, energy to an energy-filled clubhouse. He seems to me that he will fit right in. Play your hardest, don't be afraid to get dirty, and above all, have fun in Club Astros. There is no way to really quantify the positive impact on almost all fronts (for Bregman, his teammates, and ultimately our win-loss record), but I do think that it is very beneficial. At the end of the day, why would anybody NOT want to be part of Club Astros?