The 2015 MLB Amateur Draft might forever be known as the night of the shortstop, as four were selected in the top ten. The list was headlined by Dansby Swanson, who went first overall to the Arizona Diamondbacks.
However, the Houston Astros shortstop selection has garnered quite a bit of attention.
As a result of not being able to sign last year’s top overall pick, Brady Aiken (Aiken was selected by the Cleveland Indians with the 17th pick this year), the Astros were awarded the second selection in this year’s MLB Draft. The team chose LSU shortstop, Alex Bregman. It’s a puzzling pick, as the Astros seem set at middle infield for the foreseeable future.
Some scouts have said that Bregman profiles best as a second baseman, a position which is currently occupied by Jose Altuve. His current position of shortstop has been filled by the recently promoted, Carlos Correa.
Houston assuredly drafted the best player on its board and not for need. Bregman isn’t a power hitter, and has been compared to Boston Red Sox second baseman, Dustin Pedroia, for his ability to hit to all sides of the field.
Unless Bregman shifts to third base or outfield, there doesn’t seem to be a role for his advanced skill set anytime soon. However, If you ask Bregman he doesn’t seem too concerned with his future position in the lineup, as long as the result equates to team success.
“Everybody can say whatever they want”, Bregman told The Advocate. “I’m just going to have fun playing the game. If I play second, that’s fine. If I play short, that’s fine. I just want to help my team win.”
This depth of the Houston middle infield brings up the question of possibly trading Bregman.
The Astros have been one of baseball’s best teams this season, and to compete during the late summer months they must make aggressive additions to their roster. Bregman could be Houston’s best bargaining chip. He likely doesn’t need much time in the minor leagues, and a team looking to acquire and advanced shortstop or second base prospect would be wise to ask about his availability.
Houston knows how to bring along young talent. Over the last four years the team has brought developed Altuve, Correa, George Springer, Preston Tucker, Jon Singelton, Lance McCullers, and Dallas Keuchel, all of which are expected to be pivotal to the Astros future.
The addition of Bregman only adds to the plethora of players in the Astros system. Although, it’s not going to surprise anyone if Bregman plays his first MLB game in a city other than Houston.