Astros select SS Bregman No. 2 overall in Draft
Team follows college shortstop with prep OF Tucker, brother of Houston rookie
HOUSTON -- On the day shortstop Carlos Correa made his highly anticipated Major League debut for the Astros, the club drafted another shortstop, LSU's Alex Bregman, with the No. 2 overall pick in Monday's Draft.
Bregman, a 6-foot right-handed hitter who's been compared to Dustin Pedroia, is batting .316 with 16 doubles, six home runs, 47 RBIs and 12 stolen bases in his junior season at LSU, which has advanced to the College World Series. The Astros got the No. 2 overall pick as compensation for not signing last year's No. 1 overall pick, Brady Aiken.
Despite having Correa in the Major Leagues for what they hope is a long time, the Astros envision keeping Bregman at shortstop and said he could move quickly through the system considering his age and playing level in college.
"I'm so excited, and it's such an honor, especially to go to a great organization on the rise, a hard-working organization," Bregman said. "It's a dream come true. I've been dreaming about this since I was a very little kid. It's an awesome moment for me and my family, and I can't wait to help Houston win games."
The Astros took Tampa, Fla., high school outfielder Kyle Tucker with the No. 5 overall pick. He's the brother of Houston outfielder Preston Tucker.
The Draft continues on Tuesday with Rounds 3-10. The MLB.com preview show begins at 11:30 a.m. CT, with exclusive coverage of Rounds 3-10 beginning at noon.
Bregman is one of four finalists for the 2015 Golden Spikes Award, which is given annually to the nation's top collegiate player, and is also a candidate for the Brooks Wallace Shortstop of the Year Award, which he also won as a freshman in 2013.
"Alex Bregman has a proven track record of performance all the way from his high school days [in New Mexico]," Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow said. "We had a lot of time following him, and we feel very good about him joining the organization. We feel like he's going to continue to play a premium defensive position, and he's one of the elite college bats that's done just about everything you can do at that level. We're thrilled with him."
The second pick comes with a signing-bonus value of $7,420,100, and Luhnow said he expected to be able to sign Bregman. Houston talked glowingly about Bregman's makeup as well as his on-field ability.
"I can't speak enough about how high character he is," Astros scout Justin Cryer said. "He's proven on and off the field his tremendous work ethic and makeup, and he's succeeded at every level so far."
Luhnow said Bregman can play different positions possibly down the road, but they're committed to him as a shortstop. Bregman said he hasn't given much thought about Correa also playing the same position, but said he has respect for him.
"We played together in 2012 at two different events, and we were in the same Draft class out of high school," Bregman said. "I've been watching his career, and he's been spectacular. I wish him the best in his debut. I really haven't even thought about that yet, but I'm going to go in there and try and work hard and try to help my team win where I am and just work hard."
LSU coach Paul Mainieri said Bregman can play anywhere.
"He's a baseball player, obviously can play second, and I'm sure he could play third," Mainieri said. "There was talk before the Draft of making him a catcher. You put this kid anywhere on the field and he's going to play that position well. One of those guys that was born to play baseball."
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