As the weeks go by, all of you will notice that these posts will be increasingly more influenced by your questions, and the players you the readers and commenters show interest in. In the same way, all that attended a New Kids On The Block concert in 1990, were dubbed honorary “Newest Kids”, you are all my Shitz Stiks, and will be such forevermore. So it is with great excitement and anticipation that I begin today’s post dedicated to the hottest swinging bat this side of Jackie Bradley Jr., Alex Bregman. I know a player is generating a ton of buzz not only when I get questions about them, but when people start asking Grey questions about cats in AA. It’s almost as if you people dropped the A.J. Reed punch for Bregman lemonade and have no plans of letting up. (After all lemonade is a popular drink, and it still is.) When you’re putting up the sort of crooked numbers that Bregman has for Corpus Christi that will happen. So let’s get into this helium tank and see where it leads us.
Let’s just begin with the stats in 2016, through 32 games and 145 plate appearances Bregman is slashing .333/.432/.683, with 31 runs, 12 homers, 32 Rbis, and 3 steals. He’s also walking (12.1% Bb%) more than he’s striking out (8.1%), and putting up insane advanced metrics (.476 wOBA, 207 wRC+). The craziest wrinkle to these God like numbers is, he’s not even getting lucky, his BABIP is a measly .294, and that rose 20 points in the last three days, Monday it was .276. What would Bregman do with good luck? Hit . 415 with 25 homers in 32 games? My favorite part of all this, these are his first 33 games above A ball. I find myself wanting to repeatedly type “that’s crazy”, but there has to be more to say than that right? The biggest knock on him as a fantasy asset coming out of the draft was, “where does he play eventually?”. Many saw him as a player who would stick in the middle infield, an area presently blocked by some pretty good players at the major league level for Houston.
The changed attitude about a move from short to third, coupled with his hot hitting has sent his ETA into hyper-drive. People have been asking me recently if he’s called up after super 2! Once again CRAZY!!! Coming into the season best case scenario, I figured this guy to be a September callup, I then bumped it up to mid-August a few weeks ago. Now I’m wondering what happens, with the the present state of the Astros third base position. He can’t be worse than Luis Valbuena, can he? The other part of all this, is the recent stupidity of the Astros. Why did they make the Carlos Gomez deal? In retrospect that deal looks horrible! I’m totally convinced they would have made the playoffs with or without him, you may disagree. They also made that Ken Giles trade. I won’t argue that Giles looked like a potential stud closer, but what was wrong with the pen they had? Did they need to trade Velasquez away? Or were they trying to rid themselves of another bad decision Mark Appel…..the guy they passed on Kris Bryant for. Where am I going with all this and why is it important? The Astros might just be stupid enough to callup Bregman in June with only a handful of games at third under his belt. Not because they rush players, because typically they don’t. But because they might be dumb enough to believe they still really have a shot. I know, I know they just swept the Orioles in Houston. They’re still the second worst team in the American League right now, 9.0 games out in the division and 7.5 games out in the Wild Card. Not an insurmountable distance to overcome, but certainly an uphill battle. At this point calling up Bregman might be too little too late.
The Astros have been telling everyone that will listen, that they’re going to play Bregman at different positions, I’ve heard no indication of that including pitching. Which is the Astros most glaring need. So the short answer about Bregman’s promotion is will it happen sooner rather than later? Yes, but it shouldn’t be. What’s the point of starting his service time clock prior to September when he has a new position or positions to learn. Shouldn’t it be important to get him reps at third in the minors for say a few months, without such lofty “season saving” expectations? Maybe I’m wrong, maybe he can handle all this, and truthfully he probably can. Regardless, stash away little doggies.
Minor League Quick Hits
- With the Major League debut of Dodgers wunderkin (or oned-eyed-kin) Julio Urias just hours away, I’ll take a quick moment to share my two cents on the topic. Urias has been handled with the softest of kids gloves so far. Seriously they’ve used nothing but dye-free detergents on all his garments, and refuse to feed him any non-organic foods. More or less the Dodgers have been that annoying self-righteous mom you know on Facebook. You know the one that brags about her children’s diet, and shares product pages with notes like “Only the best for my babies”, and complains about Monsanto. We’ll ignore the fact that she used to take liquid and jump from van to van in “the lot” before Phish concerts. Rant aside, he’s never pitched more than 90 innings in a season, and seems to be capped at about 6 innings per start. After all he’s only 19 years old. My expectation is he’ll be limited to about a 130 innings this season. If I were to guess I’d say he makes about 6-7 starts, which comes out to about 40 innings or so. This would leave about 50 innings for pen work and maybe a start or two in the playoffs. No one should be expecting Urias to stick in the rotation rest of season particularly with Hyun-Jin Ryu working his way back in AAA at the moment. He could unseat Mike Bolsinger as the 5th starter, but once again my assumption is they’re not just going to take the reins off Urias and let him go this season. He’s a must add in all formats regardless, and could be a difference maker in RCLs if he sees 7th and 8th inning opportunities out of the pen.
- I’m starting to consider stashing Tim Anderson in re-drafts, he’s continued to hit (average now at .321), and the White Sox shortstop situation is pretty awful. I mentioned it in my quick hits on Wednesday of last week, and Anderson has continued to be a man possessed. Over the last two weeks (13 games), he’s hit .452/.485/.661 with 3 homers, 4 steals, and 13 runs scored. His walk rate is also up a tick (6.0%), while he’s also taken an axe to his K%, as it’s 13.4% over that same 13 game window.
- Last year’s big riser, Nationals outfield prospect Victor Robles, has continued to raise his profile. He’s presently slashing .338/.428/.521 with 5 homers and 12 steals in 39 games. This is exactly what you should expect from Robles as he continues to climb through the minors, an excellent contact/speed profile with developing power. He has fantasy superstar upside. At 19 he’s still a year away at least, hey not everyone is Julio Urias. BTW, no word as to whether or not Hagerstown is populated with cartoon Vikings though.
- Returning from the minor league DL, A.J. Reed’s contact issues continue to plague him. It’s poor timing on his part as he could easily be up with Astros within a week or two and see everyday at bats.
- There’s an excellent piece on Piratesprospects.com going into detail about what improvements Tyler Glasnow needs to make before he should be considered ready to dominate the big leagues. **Spoiler alert it’s better control of his changeup.**
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