In theory, Alex Bregman is entering his prime this season. He turns 27 years young in March and it is scary to think he could just be entering his theoretical prime. In 2018, he hit 31 home runs, stole 10 bases and slashed .286/.394/.532, but he bested that in 2019 with 41 home runs, five stolen bases and an even better .296/.423/.592 triple slash. So you’re telling me he’s just now entering his prime!? Perhaps! It’s not all glitters and rainbows for the young star at the hot corner, but he should be poised for another productive season. However, is he worth your third round pick in 2021? Let’s discuss. 

He was limited to just 42 games last year. He hit six home runs, didn’t steal a base and his triple slash was his worst since his rookie year in 2016. In the middle of August, he went to the injured list with a hamstring issue, and it couldn’t have come at a worse time. In August, prior to injury, he was hitting .313 with 10 extra-base hits and a crisp 1.00 BB/K ratio. After the injury, he hit just .197 with five-extra base hits and a 0.91 BB/K ratio in 18 games. The injury could not have come at a worse time for the young Houston slugger.

His walk rate was down, strikeouts were up and some of his metrics against non-fastballs weren’t as good as they had been in recent years. Of course, the elephant in the room is the sign stealing scandal that Bregman and the Astros found themselves at the top of discussion. How much did that rear his ugly head here? Well…


Take a look at the above charts and you can come to your own conclusions. Is it a good ol’ fashioned coincidence? Perhaps. It could very well be. However, if it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, it’s probably a duck.

Bregman’s 0.81 GB/FB ratio in 2020 was the second-highest mark of his career and the overall trendline for his launch angle since the start of 2019 is down. There are already some concerns on what kind of power hitter he really is (30 vs. 40 homer guy), and this doesn’t particularly play well to the latter.

Furthermore, his expected home run statistics are quite eye-opening. Between the regular season and postseason in 2019, he hit 45 home runs. Statcast his expected home run total was 31.5. Furthermore, of his 45, only 17 were considered “no doubters.” Could he be a guy who perennially out produces his expected marks? Absolutely. However, I’m not sure that drafting Bregman with the expectation of 40+ home runs is a recipe for success, especially if you push him earlier than his current ADP.

His rolling wOBA, illustrated below, shows that he essentially returned to his 2016 and 2017 ways rather than the 2018 and 2019 seasons. Bregman is still above average, but the gap has shrunk considerably, or at least it did in 2020.

The stolen bases are done and drafting Bregman for more than about five to seven steals is a mistake on your part. If he finds his running shoes and pushes closer to 10, let that be a bonus for your team, not a breath of fresh air because that’s what you were banking on. The same principle applies for the power numbers. Just because I’m an avid believer that his home run total will be closer to 30 than 40 in 2021, if you think he’s a 40-homer bat, then draft him and hope for the best. However, be wary of pushing him too high up the boards.

If you are a Bregman stan in 2021, the beauty of the situation is that he’s becoming more and more affordable as NFBC data continues to trickle in. Look at his draft trends, again, per NFBC data.

He’s becoming a better draft value as the days go by, but Bregman is what I call a “cup of tea” guy in 2021. If you like him and believe in the talent, you have no problem pushing him up. If you’re like me, he’s not your cup of tea, and you’ll likely fade unless his ADP tanks to a point that it realistically will never reach.

If you ask me, he’s going to be a 30 HR bat in 2021 with about 5 steals and a batting average around .280. If you want a comparison, think about a poor man’s Nolan Arenado . His name will push him up a bit, but at the tail end of the 3rd round in drafts, you have to be confident in a bounceback for Bregman. There are seven third baseman projected for at least 30 home runs and a .270 batting average. Bregman is one of them, and three guys (Rafael Devers , Anthony Rendon , and Nicholas Castellanos) can all be had after Bregman. Keep in mind that there are a lot of “good power but minimal speed” guys at Bregman’s position.


Statistical Credits: