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Monday, May 15, 2017

2017 FANTASY BASEBALL CRISIS POINT: ALEX BREGMAN

Early in spring training, yours truly was asked to weight in a few times when it came to deciding who between Alex Bregman or Andrew Benintendi was the top hitting prospect who would break camp with their teams.  Both Bregman and Benintendi came off eye-opening 2016 debuts and both were garnering a ton of attention in early drafts.  When it came down to making that choice, I chose Benintendi due to my argument he was the better bet to hit .300 and provide five-tool ability.  I still had high praise for Bregman but was not over the moon for him given the questions I had about his average and overall power.

Fast forward to present day and needless to say, Benintendi has blown Bregman away across the board as we head to the middle of May.  Bregman in fact has vastly disappointed as he went into Sunday's action with a bagel in the home run category and very mediocre overall numbers.  Well Bregman finally broke through the home run column in a major way as he swatted a grand slam off New York Yankees ace Masahiro Tanaka in the nightcap of the doubleheader to help the Astros begin the process of earning a blowout win.  While the home run was nice, the overall package remains sketchy here as Bregman now carries the following numbers:

.258
1 HR
13 R
12 RBI
3 SB

The above numbers are quite shoddy no doubt but it needs to be said that Bregman is still just 23 and he struggled badly when he first came up last season as well before finding his way.  The hope is that the grand slam will get Bregman to relax a bit and thus the best times should be ahead.  Also when digging into the advanced numbers, Bregman passes the eye test believe it or not.  For one thing, Bregman is drawing a high amount of walks with a BB/9 of 9.5 and he also is keeping the strikeouts in check with a tidy 19.0 K/9 rate.  Those are very good numbers for a young hitter and so it shows that Bregman in fact knows what he is doing at the dish.  A .320 BABIP is on the lucky side but it is not out of this world.  While we still doubt Bregman will hit for a lot of power at this early stage of his career, we do think the talent is obvious and that his numbers will improve as the season goes on.  AS a result, a buy low is a good idea here as Bregman's owners are likely very jumpy right now and like we noted, the indicators show he has not been as bad as the numbers show so far this season.


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