At one point, Alex Bregman was everything you can ask for. Between 2018 and 2019, A-Breg went twice to the All-Star Game, finished in the top 5 of the AL MVP voting in both years, and won a Silver Slugger award. In numbers, he hit 88 doubles and 72 home runs, drove in 215 runs, and had more walks (215) than strikeouts (168) over 313 games, plus a .291/.409/.561/.970 slash line.
But suddenly, injuries began to affect Bregman’s game. Between 2020 and 2021, he appeared in only 133 of 222 regular-season contests and his line went down notably to .262/.353/.431/.785, with his slugging percentage dropped by 130 points and his OPS by 185.
In ’22, Bregman got to the third season of his five-year, $100MM contract and it’s been way more encouraging for him and the Astros so far.
During the first two months of the season, the third baseman flashed some lights of his well-known talent, but lacked consistency and power, hitting for a .226 average and showing a .399 slugging percentage – which I believe could be partially caused by bad luck.
Why do I believe it’s due to some bad luck? Well, his BABIP was a low .239 during April and May. Besides, his expected stats marked a huge gap against his actual stats, as you can see below…
- Actual Batting Average: .226 | Expected Batting Average: .312
- Actual Slugging Percentage: .399 | Expected Slugging Percentage: .536
However, things got better in June, his best month of the current campaign. It seems luck began to be on Bregman’s side…
In fact, his last 14 games have been a good sign and a proof that the old Alex Bregman might be back at his best: .347/.450/.571 with two doubles, three homers, 12 ribbies, 10 runs, eight walks, and a 1.021 OPS.
Throughout June and his first two games of July, the 28-year-old’s BABIP has raised to an acceptable .275. There was a slight increment of Bregman’s exit velocity from 89.2 MPH to 90.8 MPH over the two cited periods, which may have been a push for his offensive improvement.
What’s most important is the fact that Bregman is healthy and back to his old levels. It’s just a matter of clicking and figuring things out again, and it seems Bregman has begun to do just that. There are reasons to be looking forward to seeing Bregman going through what’s left of the 2022 season and the postseason.
The Astros need their third baseman’s production and imposing presence in the lineup. Maybe more than ever, Bregman is a much-needed hitter in Dusty Baker’s offensive order. We’ll see what he brings for the second half of the season.