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First Look: Alex Bregman

Short stop Alex Bregman - Steven Branscombe-USA TODAY Sports

Last night, July 22nd to be exact, I headed over to Fifth Third Ballpark, home of the Kane County Cougars to catch the Quad City River Bandits vs. Cougars game. Originally, I set out to get a glimpse of the mighty, Chuck Taylor. No, I'm not making that up, he really exists (Chuck Taylor). Okay... Okay, all joking aside, I really went to get a look at the Astros' shiny new toy, Alex Bregman, the kid that was picked number two overall just last month.

The game finally ended in the 15th inning with the River Bandits squeaking out a 4-3 win. Bregman went 1-5 with 2 BB and 2 K.

First things first, Bregman looks every bit of his listed height and weight, 6'0" 180 pounds, nothing more, nothing less. He's easy to lose in the field because he's not the biggest guy out there.

At the plate:

Bregman has a nice and simple set up at the plate. His knees are shoulder width apart and he has an ever so slightly open stance. His lead elbow is tucked in close while his back elbow is parallel to the ground. His hands are in line with the back of his helmet and there are no major movements with them prior to the pitch.

Bregman starts his swing by bringing his hands back, but they don't travel very far. He then kicks his leg up and this helps close off what was a previously an open stance. His leg kick is not overly drastic, but it's not minor. At this point he attacks the ball with a short quick swing. In this viewing, he hit a couple ground balls, and his swing didn't seem to generate much loft. It was much more line drive oriented. Another note here is that the ball just didn't sound great off the bat. His one hit was a sharp single back up the middle.

One of Bregman's strengths is his understanding of the strike zone, and he took a couple borderline pitches, but didn't chase either. As far as pitch recognition, he didn't see anything noteworthy from the pitchers. Mainly fastballs with some weak sliders and changeups sprinkled in. No big breaking curveballs.

In his final PA, the seventh (not in the video) on the night, he was intentionally walked.

Overall, I think Bregman has a good bat, but from this single view, and only basing it on this viewing, I didn't see anything impact or special out of it. He'll likely hit for average and get on base, but he could get chewed up by taking too many pitches or being overly selective. It remains to be seen how he handles better pitching.

He's really not much of a threat on the bases. He didn't take any large leads and did not attempt to steal any bases.

Over on the glove side is where I had some issues with him. In the video I only have two plays he made, I was with someone, so I didn't want to ignore them the whole game.

He made several routine plays, but he also screwed up some routine plays. He turned an unassisted double play (not in video), and played well when shifted (in the video). He put in a great effort on a ball that was hit to his right and the third basemans left. The third baseman got the tip of the glove on the ball in between second and third. Bregman was aligned more up the middle, but he reacted and was able to catch the deflection and get the throw off. However, throw was from an off balance position, weak and off target. It bounced about eight feet in front of the first baseman. A strong throw may have gotten the runner who was not particularly fast.

The issue here is Bregman's range, it's average, and he's not the quickest. If he's aligned differently and the ball is hit away from him with decent contact, he's going to struggle to get to it. He charges the ball well though and gets a decent jump. His setup in the field is interesting because right before the pitch is thrown he gets into a squat and then pops back up as the pitch is delivered. His actions are smooth and he doesn't stab at the ball.

With the bases loaded (in the video) he made a backhanded play with the glove, but ended up dropping the ball on the transfer. This is what cause the game to end up going 15 innings, as it let the Cougars creep back into the game. He made two errors in the game, both were on him and not things that could have gone the other way.

Overall with the glove, I'd say he's nothing more than average (Arm and Range), and might not have the range to stay at short as the game gets faster. However, he could profile better defensively at third or second.

I really want another look at him in the field as well as at the dish. This was only one viewing, but almost two with how much baseball was played.

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