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Three Astros Things: Alex Bregman Edition

MLB: Houston Astros at Tampa Bay Rays Jonathan Dyer-USA TODAY Sports

Slump Broken

Is it me or did it feel like Alex Bregman’s rough start at the plate against the White Sox in the Opening Series — .000/.111/.000 in 18 plate appearances — received more than expected attention? To be clear, a start like that will receive air time, especially for the defending champs. I realize his struggles were further magnified considering how the lineup outside of Yordan Alvarez and Kyle Tucker tends to disappear for stretches. But 50 players last season, including Carlos Correa, Mookie Betts, and Juan Soto, also had four-game stretches where they were held hitless. In other words, an inopportune slump is only just that.

If we account for the season’s first 18 plate appearances in his calculations, Bregman’s slash line drops to .222/.353/.354. Bregman’s struggles in the season’s first four games aside, the age-29 third baseman has performed as you’d reasonably expect since reflected by his .265/.396/.422 slash line in his last 101 plate appearances. And that slash line includes going hitless in his last three games. So, yes, the opening slump is broken. Let’s just hope we’re not in the midst of another one.

Strikeouts and Walks

Regardless of how well or not Bregman actually hits the ball, he regularly maintains excellent plate discipline. He doesn’t chase or whiff often, 97th and 90th percentile, respectively. We’re now reaching the point of a season where walk (~120 plate appearances) and strikeout (~60 plate appearances) rates are beginning to stabilize for regulars. And, to no one’s surprise, Bregman’s rates continue to look impressive. We could see his best season in terms of walk-to-strikeout ratio.

The Lacking Power

If there is a concern with Bregman at the plate, it could very well involve his power output or the lack thereof. Outside of a spike last summer, his in-game power hasn’t reached the same level as it consistently did in his prime offensive seasons. Injuries and changes to the baseball are the primary culprits, but even a fully healthy Bregman likely won’t reach those lofty heights again.

It is interesting to note how his power numbers are rebounding from his early season slump. Please note that isolated power figures around 50 games started to begin to stabilize, but it is a promising trend to monitor. But as Bregman’s power trends, so does his overall offensive value, even with terrific plate discipline.