It was less than 18 months ago when Alex Bregman sat in the Champions Club at Alex Box Stadium, surrounded by family and friends and waiting to hear his name called. The Houston Astros selected the star shortstop second overall, and he's already made his way through the minor leagues to the majors.
"It's been fun," says Bregman. "It's been a great ride. A lot of people helped out along the way. I can't thank them enough. It's been a blur since I've been up here just trying to help this team win games."
His debut in Houston came with the glove we've always known him to sport, only at third base now instead of shortstop. Fortunately, as all of Bregman's coaches through the years will tell you, he never takes his bat to the field. He was just one for his first 34 major league at-bats, but has since raised his game. He hit his first MLB home run Tuesday night against the Cardinals.
"The experience is a little bit more at each level," says Bregman. "All of the guys are a little bit older. They know what they're doing. They know what they're trying to do, and they execute it. It just gets a little bit better each step of the way, and you have to adapt your game to that."
The Albuquerque, N.M. native chalked up his slow start at the plate to a mechanical issue that's since been fixed. He says it's at LSU where he learned how to deal with the ups and downs that come with the game of failure that is baseball.
"My sophomore year, I went through a little stretch that was rough and learned how to get out of that," says Bregman. "It definitely helped when I started up here struggling a little bit. I think that's the biggest thing I learned from college; how to deal with failure and how to get back up when you fall down."
And when Bregman does get back up, he rises with a vengeance. Since his slow start, he has 13 hits in his last 11 games with six RBIs, five doubles and a home run, and I have a feeling he's just getting heated up.
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