Instant Fantasy Reaction: Alex Bregman should make immediate impact
Alex Bregman is on his way to Houston, and Scott White says this is a callup that should go right for Fantasy owners.
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Heads up: This is a big one.
I know we've said that about other prospects who've gotten the call this year, and for the most part -- really, every part but Michael Fulmer -- they've underwhelmed.
But the letdown stems from the reality that, with prospects, we don't know how it's going to go. We certainly know the upside, and we know the Fantasy impact if the upside is met right away. The possibility makes every prospect worth the pursuit, but we can't call any one of them can't-miss.
He's not the first prospect of that ilk. The same was true for Kris Bryant. George Springer as well. But for each of them, an exorbitant strikeout rate posed a danger that we conveniently chose to ignore. No need for Bregman. He has a Daniel Murphy-like 38 strikeouts in 314 at-bats between Double-A and Triple-A this year. Meanwhile, he has drawn 47 walks.
Such mastery of the strike zone is probably the clearest indication that he was just toying with minor-league pitching, and for a collegiate hitter drafted second overall, it's halfway expected. The 20 home runs are what really upped Bregman's stature. He's not just a table-setter but a bat to anchor the middle of a lineup.
The bigger question than how he'll perform, then, is where he'll play, but that's more the Astros' problem than yours. Rest assured, he'll play somewhere -- or multiple somewheres, more likely. Third base is available enough for now, with Luis Valbuena sliding over to the recently vacated first base (happy trails, A.J. Reed), and then when Cuban defector Yulieski Gurriel is ready to take over at third, Bregman can move out to left field, where he saw some action in the days leading up to this promotion.
The position eligibility he collects in the meantime (he already has it at shortstop) will only add to his value. More than anything, I'm looking forward to him getting the five appearances necessary to qualify as an outfielder. That's the position of greater need than either shortstop or third base this year.
But in the 35 percent of leagues where he's still available, you need him anywhere you can get him. I'm expecting something on the level of Corey Seager production, and those numbers would translate to any position. And because he's getting the call on a Monday, no sense easing him in. He's going straight in the starting lineup for me.
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