We’re continuing our review of Houston’s system, wherein we recap each of the 316 players to play with the Astros in 2022.
Alex Bregman is a six-foot, 192 lb. third baseman from Albuquerque, NM. Born on March 30, 1994, he was initially chosen by the Boston Red Sox in 2012, in the 29th round. He instead decided on collegiate ball, with Louisiana State University, and was rewarded with a number two overall pick three years later by Houston.
Players selected second overall usually make the majors, with only five exceptions since 1965 (and not counting the last three drafts). By WAR, the biggest success of the players taken second overall is Justin Verlander (77.7 WAR). Bregman signed to a deal that included a $5.9 million signing bonus.
Bregman worked his way up through Houston’s system quickly, making his major league debut in 2016 just over a year after being drafted. After starting his career by going two-for-38, he broke out in a big way, hitting .349 over his next 14. He made his first All-Star Team in 2018, when he led the major leagues with 51 doubles. In 2019, he made it again and earned his first Silver Slugger Award, leading the majors with 119 walks and finishing second in the American League MVP Award voting. He also hit a career-best 41 dingers with 112 RBI that year.
Over his first six seasons, Bregman slashed .281/.377/.507 with 117 home runs and 397 RBI. He turned in the lowest OPS of his career thus far in 2021, when he still turned in a mark of 113. He opened 2022 as Houston’s incumbent third baseman, as close to a sure thing we have on the Astros.
Bregman led the club with 155 games and 87 walks this season. He struck out 77 times, for the third time in his career walking more than he struck out. On July 28, he had his highest WPA of the season with a mark of .392. He hit a two-run homer in the bottom of the first and added an RBI-double in the eighth in a 4-2 Houston win over the Seattle Mariners. On August 18, he hit two doubles and two homers for six RBI in a 21-5 victory against the Chicago White Sox. You got 12 minutes? Check this out.
Bregman hit .259/.366/.454 with 23 home runs and 93 RBI through the regular season, finishing with an OPS+ of 133. Even in 2022, when Bregman’s season was really the most “mid” of his career (fourth out of seven years), he still did well enough to garner a mention in the MVP voting (he finished 19th). Defensively, Bregman turned in a .983 fielding percentage, with a career-low seven errors (not counting 2020) in a career-best 1360 1⁄3 innings. Earlier this week, he was named to the Statcast 2022 All-Defense Team.
Like a lot of the Astros, Bregman found another gear in the postseason, going 15-for-51 with five doubles, three homers, and 11 RBI. In Houston’s Game Two ALCS win over the New York Yankees, Bregman’s third inning, three-run homer was all the offense the Astros would need in a 3-2 win.
Bregman is entering the fourth year of a six-year, $100 million contract. The fourth and fifth years of the contract were designed to feature a salary escalator for Bregman, and he’ll take home $30.2 million for each of the next two seasons. Still just 28-years-old, Bregman could be looking at a pretty good contract after the 2024 postseason (which I expect the Astros will probably win). Thanks for reading.