Astros top prospect Bregman remains red-hot

2015 draftee hits ninth homer of season for Double-A Corpus Christi

May 18th, 2016

Astros top prospect Alex Bregman continued his power display Wednesday with Double-A Corpus Christi, launching his fourth home run in his past nine games.

Bregman, ranked No. 19 on MLB Pipeline's Top 100 Prospects list has nine homers in 26 games with the Hooks, and only nine strikeouts. He's the only player in the Minors or Majors who does not have more strikeouts than home runs, among those with multiple homers.

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It's a statistic that deserves some more context:

• There are 18 other Minor League hitters with at least nine home runs this year, and their average number of strikeouts this season is 40.

• There have only been two big leaguers in the past 60 years to finish a season with more homers than strikeouts (minimum 20 home runs): Barry Bonds in 2004 (45 homers and 41 strikeouts) and George Brett in 1980 (24 homers and 22 strikeouts).

Bregman, 22, was picked No. 2 overall in last year's Draft out of LSU as a shortstop, though he's recently seen some time at third base. He has started at third in two his past six games, his first game action at the position coming in Friday's doubleheader. Bregman started at short on Wednesday.

"I feel like I'll be very comfortable here really soon -- really, really soon," Bregman said Saturday about playing third. "I'm pretty comfortable there already, but I feel like in a few days, I'll be very comfortable there."

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Bregman has been feasting on Double-A pitching, hitting .330 with eight doubles and 26 RBIs to go along with his nine homers. He's also drawn 15 walks.

"At the beginning of the year, we talked about position versatility, and because he was going to straight to Double-A, we wanted to make sure he felt comfortable at that level and felt comfortable at the plate first," Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow said Saturday. "We didn't want him to switch positions or have him try a new position while he was getting accustomed to a higher level."