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Five Reasons Alex Bregman’s Breakout Is Real

Hidden beneath another MVP campaign by Jose Altuve, along with the injuries to both Carlos Correa and George Springer, an Astros player is breaking out. At first glance, many will think about Marwin Gonzalez, who’s gone full Ben Zobrist this year with a power binge and positional versatility. Alex Bregman’s in the midst of a nine-game hit streak, with an extra-base hit in each of his last eight games and hitting .338/.412/.689 in 21 games to start the second half. He’s also walked more times than he’s struck out with an increase in isolated power. Many dropped him after a slow start to the season, but here are five reasons why Bregman’s going to prove them wrong.

1. Resiliency

Giving up on a player who started his major league career 2-for-28 (.053) and finished his rookie campaign with a .264/.313/.478 slash line in 49 games seems impatient, but fantasy owners prove to be. Bregman did not return immediate investment upon his promotion last year, nor to start this season, but adjustments will always be a part of the game.

Instead of giving up on Bregman, Houston stuck with him and allowed him to play through it, noting his at-bats and contact would eventually translate into success. Once again, Bregman is proving this point by consolidating his skills in a rough June to emerge with strong results seen in his recent hot streak along with improvements in power and plate discipline.

2. Plate Discipline

Segue alert. During the second half, Bregman is one of 13 players with a walk-to-strikeout ratio of one or better. His 1.5 rate BB/K ranks third to only Joe Mauer (1.89) and Justin Turner (1.57). Here’s his progression in the category dating back to last year:

  • 2016: 6.9 walk percentage, 24 strikeout percentage, 0.29 BB/K
  • 2017: 10.1 walk percentage, 15 strikeout percentage, 0.68 BB/K
  • 2H 2017: 10.6 walk percentage, 7.1 strikeout percentage, 1.5 BB/K

Adjusting to major league pitching at such an expedited rate should garner more attention. Bregman’s reduced his swinging strike percentage by over five percent this year, his swings and misses on pitches outside the strike zone by over four percent and increased his contact by almost nine percent. He’s going to be 24 next March.

3. Power 

[the_ad id=”384″]Noting his eight-game extra-base hit streak, Bregman’s found a new level of production of late in terms of power. His rookie debut last year yielded a .214 isolated power, which sits slightly above his year to date measure this year, but the second half explosion points to better days ahead. Bregman’s increased his pull percentage in the second half, but it does not tell the whole story in terms of his power growth. It’s up by over four percent. In August, however, Bregman’s using the whole field to drive the ball, which could make him more interesting.

Limiting power by only pulling the ball makes a hitter one-dimensional. One could not blame Bregman for becoming pull heavy with the comfy confines of Minute Maid Park down the left-field line, but bear with me. Noting the rough June turned in by Bregman, his hard contact cratered to 25 percent in the month, his lowest total within his splits this season. He’s turned things around with a 34.2 hard-contact rate in July and a 34.8 hard contact percentage in August to attain a 33.3 rate in the second half. This can be seen in his isolated power increase to .351 since the All-Star break compared to a .163 mark in the first half.

4. Second-half surge

Bregman’s trending in all the right directions with the numbers culminating in a significant second half. He ranks in the top-10 so far in weighted runs created plus (sixth at 190), eighth in isolated power (.351) and ninth in weighed on-base average (.450). In 21 games since the break, Bregman’s scored 19 runs with seven doubles, two triples, five home runs, 13 RBI, four stolen bases and a .338/.412/.689 slash line. He’s walked nine times against six strikeouts, resulting in a 1.101 OPS. Improved plate discipline, burgeoning power and a strong lineup only enhances Bregman’s value.

5. Paces

Taking into account all of the factors above, Bregman’s on pace to score 86 runs with 19 home runs, 58 RBI and 18 stolen bases. At a time when 20/20 guys seem to be disappearing from the game, Bregman could be a unique player at third base. In leagues with 10-game minimums for positional eligibility, Bregman adds shortstop to the mix next season, as well.

With a little luck and continuance of his second half adjustments, Bregman could turn in his first 20/20 season this year. For those who see things visually, Bregman’s hitting .319/.406/.609 since June 19th. Here are two charts courtesy of to illustrate his spray charts during his evolution this year.

Alex Bregman through June 18:

Alex Bregman from June 19 through August 6:


As referenced above, part of the improved power displayed by Bregman can be seen in the home runs to center and right field as compared to only pulling the ball for power to start the year. Using the whole field and hitting pitches where they’re thrown could unlock Bregman’s slash lines moving forward along with reaching 20 home run power. Add in the steals as a sweetener, and it appears Bregman’s breakout could be upon us. Here’s hoping he carries it over to next season.

It’s easy to overlook Alex Bregman in terms of fantasy production, but he’s a top-10 third baseman for years to come.

Statistical Credits:,,,

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