HOUSTON -- Alex Bregman is not one to hold things close to the vest, especially considering that he's one of the most active users of social media of any player currently in the Major Leagues.Bregman has a YouTube channel, actively posts on his Instagram account and is not shy about
HOUSTON -- Alex Bregman is not one to hold things close to the vest, especially considering that he's one of the most active users of social media of any player currently in the Major Leagues.
Bregman has a YouTube channel, actively posts on his Instagram account and is not shy about interacting with fans on Twitter. So when he was required to stay mum about his image showing up on the cover of R.B.I. Baseball 2019, he was extra cautious about not letting anything slip.
The secret was revealed at Astros FanFest on Saturday, when Bregman and Astros radio analyst Steve Sparks stood on a stage at the Astros Social Media Zone in Union Station and unveiled to hundreds of fans a poster of Bregman as the cover athlete of R.B.I. Baseball 2019.
Bregman has known about this since last season. In Baltimore last September, he posed for the cover during a lengthy photo shoot.
"I was pumped up," he said. "My agent called me and said, 'You're going to be on the cover of R.B.I. Baseball.' I was like, 'Are you serious?' It's unbelievable. Dream come true. I was yelling into the phone. I was super excited."
The decision to put him on the cover occurred around the same time he was on a mid-season tear, which ended up padding his career-best numbers in nearly every offensive category, including home runs (31) and RBIs (103).
Bregman has only two full Major League seasons under his belt, but he's proven to be one of the club's most valuable players. A key component of the Astros' World Series championship run in 2017, Bregman in 2018 became the first player in history to have 30 homers and 50 doubles in a season while playing the majority of his games at third base.
At 24, he's the youngest player in club history with a 30-homer season and he's also the fifth player in Major League history with a 50-double, 30-homer season prior to turning 30 years old.
According to Bregman, there's still room for improvement.
"I told one of my best friends -- we're just getting started," he said. "This is just the beginning. We're just scratching the surface of what I feel like I can accomplish in this game.
"I feel like I have so much to improve on. I feel like last year, about June, was really when I started to see a change and said, 'That's the kind of baseball player you are.' You continuously learn throughout your career, but from June on I felt like that's the kind of a representation of who I want to be on the field."
Bregman's selection for the video game's U.S. and global covers make him the fourth consecutive player younger than 25 to be featured by R.B.I. Baseball, joining Francisco Lindor (2018), Corey Seager (2017) and Mookie Betts (2016).
The cover athlete for R.B.I. Baseball 19 in Canada will be Blue Jays infielder Lourdes Gurriel Jr., the younger brother of Bregman's teammate, Yuli Gurriel.
Alyson Footer is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow her on Twitter @alysonfooter.