Editor's Note: The Astros announced that Alex Bregman will be called up before Monday's game. This article originally ran earlier in the month.
Last night's Future's Game in San Diego highlighted the skills of one of baseball's brightest infield prospects.
Alex Bregman, an infielder in the Astros organization, went 3 for 5 with a single, double and triple. His double was laced 107 mph off the bat into the gap.
Bregman was the #2 overall pick in the 2015 draft, taken out of LSU by the Astros with a compensation pick for failing to sign Brady Aiken the year before. He was named the Astros #1 prospect by Baseball Prospectus prior to 2016, and the #4 overall prospect on their updated midseason top 50. Here's what BP had to say before the season:
His smooth, line-drive swing comes with above-average bat speed, and his ability to recognize pitches while staying back and keeping his hands in makes the hit tool plus. Carlos Correa he is not, but there is some power here, thanks to his ability to lift the ball and clear his hips. He makes the most of his tick-above-average speed, by getting good jumps and as a result holds 15-20 stolen base upside.
You can see in the .gif above a good visual for what BP calls his line drive swing. 3 of Bregman's 4 batted balls were line drives in the Future's Game.
Bregman has absolutely destroyed the minor leagues this year. Between AA and AAA, Bregman is hitting to a .309/.416/.603 line with 19 HR, a .294 ISO, a 14% walk rate, and a 10% strikeout rate. His triple slash line has led to an adjusted 184 wRC+.
He also created quite a buzz on twitter last night during the Future's Game, including lots of tweets about Bregman being on the brink of an MLB call up.
I like Dansby Swanson. I'll take Alex Bregman.— Ben Badler (@BenBadler) July 11, 2016
I don't see any reason for Bregman to still be in the minors https://t.co/hQv8ZsnS2G— keithlaw (@keithlaw) July 11, 2016
I don't think it's going to be too much longer until Alex Bregman plays his next game in a major league park.— Ben Badler (@BenBadler) July 11, 2016
Asked scout b4 Futures Game who playing was next to be called to MLB. Said #Astros Alex Bregman who has 2b, 3b so far.— Joel Sherman (@Joelsherman1) July 11, 2016
Just asked a scout what stood out most to him at the Futures Game. His response: "Bregman is ready."— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) July 11, 2016
With Jose Altuve at 2B and Carlos Correa at SS, Bregman would play 3B with the Astros. The incumbent 3B is Luis Valbuena, who is having a good season, and might slid over to 1B if A.J. Reed doesn't start hitting. Reed currently has a 39% strikeout rate and 47 wRC+ in the big leagues.
For what to potentially expect at the big league level, Bregman has earned comps to Dustin Pedroia from multiple places, including BP. Pedroia is a career .299/.365/.444 hitter and averaged 16 HR per year and 19 SB per year during his 5 year peak from 2008-2012.
Bregman is 13% owned in Yahoo leagues, so there's a good chance he's still available. He currently has SS eligibility, and will also gain 3B eligibility shortly after his call up.