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Alex Bregman

(1994 - )

Alexander David Bregman was born on March 30, 1994, in Albuquerque, NM. He was a member of Albuquerque’s Congregation Albert growing up and lived in the Northeast Heights section of Albuquerque. His father, Sam Bregman, and his mother, Jackie Bregman (née De Oliveira), are both lawyers, and he has two younger siblings, Jessica and Anthony (A.J.). Bregman’s brother A.J. is also a baseball player, and was selected by the Astros in the 35th round of the 2018 Major League Baseball Draft. His father played baseball as a freshman for the University of New Mexico, a team for which his uncle Ben Bregman also played. His father was also a part owner, starting in 2006, of the NBA Development League’s New Mexico Thunderbirds. His grandfather Stan Bregman was the son of Russian Jewish immigrants. He served as general counsel for the Washington Senators from the late 1960s until the team moved to Texas in 1971, a sale he negotiated.

From an early age Bregman knew he wanted to be a baseball player. He began playing tee-ball at age 4. During his bar mitzvah speech at Congregation Albert, Bregman said, “When I think about the future and how I can make a difference in the world, I want to be able to use my love of the game of baseball to be a good example and a good person,” he said. “I want to be a professional athlete who plays for the love of the game, never quits trying to give my best and is a good role model for all of the kids who look up to baseball players.”

Bregman attended Albuquerque Academy. A right-hander, Bregman is listed as 6 feet tall but is probably closer to 5’10.” In 2009, Bregman led his high school team to a state championship as a freshman playing shortstop.

At the October 2010 COPABE Pan American Baseball Championships in Mexico, while he was a sophomore, he batted .564 for the gold-medal-winning 16-and-under USA National Team, and was named the Most Valuable Player (MVP). That year, at the age of 16, he became the first high school player to win the USA Baseball Richard W. “Dick” Case Player of the Year Award.

In 2011, he batted .678 as a junior in high school, and established a season record in New Mexico with 19 home runs. Bregman was named first team All-State, and received All-Metro honors and All-District honors. In the fall of that year he led the 18-and-under U.S. National Team to a gold medal at the International Baseball Federation World Championships.

Bregman was originally projected to be a first-round draft pick out of high school. That changed, however, when he shattered the second knuckle on his right throwing hand while using his bare hand to deflect a bad hop on a ground ball during his senior year. The injury made him miss most of the season.

He was drafted by the Boston Red Sox in the 29th round of the 2012 Major League Baseball Draft as a second baseman, after he made clear that he would not sign with any team unless it picked him in the first round. He elected not to sign with the Red Sox. Instead, he chose to attend Louisiana State University (LSU).

At LSU, Bregman majored in sports administration. He also played shortstop for the LSU Tigers baseball team in the Southeastern Conference (SEC). He wore number 30 as a freshman, reflecting the 30 teams that had passed on him in the first round of the 2012 draft.

In 2013, he batted .369 with 104 hits (second in the nation) and had a 23-game hitting streak. Bregman won the 2013 Brooks Wallace Award as the country’s best college shortstop. He was also voted first-team All-American by Baseball America, the American Baseball Coaches Association (ABCA), Perfect Game, and the Jewish Sports Review. In addition, he was named the 2013 National Freshman of the Year by Baseball America, Collegiate Baseball, and the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association (NCBWA), and was voted 2013 SEC Freshman of the Year and first-team all-SEC by the league coaches. Among his other honors, he was named to the 2013 USA Collegiate National Team (for which he batted .361).

In 2014, he batted .316 and was voted 2014 second-team all-SEC, NCAA Regional All-Tournament Team, SEC All-Tournament Team, Second-Team All-Louisiana, and named to the 2014 USA Collegiate National Team.

In 2015, Bregman batted .312 and led the nation’s No. 1-ranked baseball team to the College World Series, and won LSU’s Skip Bertman Award, which goes to the player who best exemplifies the spirit of the LSU Baseball program. He was also voted the Rawlings Gold Glove winner at shortstop by the ABCA, and voted first-team All-American by both Baseball America and the NCBWA for the second time among other honors.

He was one of four finalists for the 2015 Golden Spikes Award, presented annually to the nation’s top college player and won by outfielder Andrew Benintendi.[

The Houston Astros selected Bregman with the second overall selection in the first round of the 2015 MLB Draft. Bregman signed with the Astros in June 2015 for a $5.9 million signing bonus. He made his professional debut with the Quad Cities River Bandits of the Class A Midwest League in late June. In late July 2015, the Astros promoted Bregman to the Lancaster JetHawks of the Class A-Advanced California League.

Bregman started 2016 with the AA Corpus Christi Hooks in the Texas League and was promoted again to the AAA Fresno Grizzlies. USA Today named Bregman the 2016 Minor League Player of the Year. He was also named the 2016 Astros Minor League Player of the Year, ESPN.com Prospect of the Year, and a Baseball America Minor League All-Star.

On July 25, 2016, the Astros purchased Bregman’s contract from the Grizzlies, adding him to their 25-man roster. He made his major league debut at third base against the New York Yankees that same day. Bregman recorded his first major league hit on July 31 against the Detroit Tigers, with a single into center field. His first home run came at home on August 16, tying the game against the Cardinals in the first inning with a two-run home run to right field at Minute Maid Park. For the 2016 season, he batted .264 with 8 home runs and 34 RBIs in 49 games.

At age 22, Bregman started his 2017 baseball season as the youngest member of Team USA in the World Baseball Classic (WBC), which won its first gold medal in the WBC by defeating Puerto Rico 8–0 in the final. He had been invited to play for Team Israel, which finished sixth at the 2017 World Baseball Classic, as WBC rules allow all Jewish ballplayers to play for the team. He said later, “I probably should’ve” played for Team Israel “because I got [just] four at-bats” playing as a backup for Team USA.

For the 2017 season, he batted .284 with 39 doubles and five triples (the latter two both ninth in the American League), 19 home runs, 88 runs, 71 RBIs, and 17 stolen bases (tied for the lead among all major league third basemen). He led AL third basemen in fielding percentage (.970; the 4th-highest fielding percentage by a third baseman in team history), while also playing 30 games at shortstop. Houston won the AL West division with a 101–61 record, thus advancing Bregman to his first career major league playoff.

Bregman’s home run off of Chris Sale in the 8th inning of Game 4 of the playoffs tied the game 3-3 and jump-started the Astros’ rally that led them to a 5-4 win over the Red Sox and propelled them to their first appearance in a Championship Series since 2005. His biggest contribution came during Game 5 when, after a back-and-forth game in which the Astros came back from two separate 3-run deficits, Bregman hit a two-out walk-off single in the bottom of the 10th inning to give the Astros a 13-12 victory and a 3–2 series lead. The series lasted seven games, and the Astros won the World Series for the first time ever. Bregman finished his first postseason with 4 home runs and 10 RBIs.

In 2018, the Astros renewed Bregman’s contract at $599,000 – an increase of $60,000. Batting .284 with 17 home runs, 57 RBIs, and 29 doubles, he was named to the 2018 MLB All-Star Game where he participated in the 2018 Home Run Derby.After he hit a go-ahead home run in the 10th inning, he was named All-Star Game MVP.

On September 8, Bregman became the youngest Astro ever to hit 30 home runs in a season, at 24 years old. On September 12, he picked up his 50th double of the season as well as his 100th RBI and 100th run scored. Bregman became the first Astro to log 100 RBIs in a season since Carlos Lee in 2009, and the first primary third baseman in Major League history to record 50 doubles and 30 home runs in a season. He also became the first player since Albert Pujols in 2012 to hit 30 home runs, 50 doubles, and drive in 100 runs. Bregman also extended his on-base streak to 39 games (the longest in team history since 1999), and tied Jeff Bagwell’s franchise record of reaching base in 51 consecutive games on the road (established in 2001).

For the 2018 regular season, he batted .286 with 31 home runs and 51 doubles (leading the AL; the 3rd-most in Astros history), 83 extra base hits (2nd in the league), 96 walks (3rd), 105 runs and 103 RBIs (each 5th in the AL), 7.0 at bats per strikeout (9th), and a 15.1 power-speed number (10th). Bregman came in 5th in the voting for American League Most Valuable Player.

In the 2018 American League Division Series Bregman batted .556, and his .714 OBP was the third-highest all-time in a division series, while his 1.333 slugging percentage was fourth-highest all-time.

In early January 2019, Bregman had arthroscopic surgery to remove bone chips in his right elbow. Two months later, Bregman and the Astros agreed to a six-year, $100 million contract extension believed to be the second biggest contract ever by a Jewish athlete (after Ryan Braun’s $105 million deal in 2011).

At 24, Houston manager A.J. Hinch said he was “a monster within the game.”

 

 

LEVEL

G

AB

R

H

TB

2B

3B

HR

RBI

BB

IBB

SO

SB

CS

AVG

OBP

SLG

OPS

GO/AO

Minors Career

Minors

146

586

108

176

295

35

6

24

95

76

5

68

20

10

.300

.388

.503

.891

0.71

MLB Career

MLB

361

1351

224

381

676

103

9

58

208

166

4

234

29

9

.282

.366

.500

.866

0.75


Sources: Alex Bregman, Wikipedia;
“Alex Bregman,” MiLB.com;
Ben Reiter, “Almost Famous: The Astros’ Alex Bregman Is Freshly Paid and Trying To Return Baseball to the Limelight,” Sports Illustrated, (March 25, 2019);
“Alex Bregman signs one of the largest-ever contracts for a Jewish athlete,” JTA, (March 25, 2019).