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Two Years Removed from CWS, Alex Bregman Helps Astros to 2017 World Series

Alex Bregman

Alex Bregman

Houston Astros third baseman Alex Bregman might have to start working on a new bucket list.

Houston Astros Logo 2017

Over the past three seasons, the 23-year-old has moved through the Astros' system to become a key player in the team's 2017 World Series run.  

However, this isn't Bregman's first World Series — he's just 28 months removed from playing for the LSU Tigers in the 2015 NCAA College World Series, where his team finished 1-2. 

The second-year player was an All-American for the Bayou Bengals and said he still exchanges texts with coach Paul Mainieri on a consistent basis.

“I’ve been talking to Coach Mainieri every single day of the playoffs,” Bregman told the Shreveport Times after the Astros topped New York in Game 7 of the American League Championship Series. “(The CWS) definitely prepared me for this point.”

But Bregman has since traded his aluminum bat for a wooden one and his sports management classes for a roster spot in Houston, where he has displayed prowess at the plate and the hot corner. 

In fact, Bregman's defense is a big reason why Houston finds itself in the Fall Classic. 

In Game 7 of the ALCS, Bregman gunned down New York’s Greg Bird to preserve a 1-0 lead, and the Astros went on to take the American League pennant with a 4-0 victory.

“I had a play like that earlier in the year…Justin Upton hit it to me and I tried to turn a double play and he beat it out,” Bregman said. “I thought to myself…‘in the playoffs, to keep the momentum on our side, I need to go home and get the out there.’”

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Despite his defensive contributions, Bregman struggled at the plate for much of the postseason, hitting just .190 (8-for-42) during the American League Division Series and the ALCS.

However, his bat has improved through the first three games of the World Series. The Albuquerque, N.M., native is 3-for-13 with a double, three RBI and a home run, although he went 0-for-3 on in Game 3 on Friday night.

Bregman is part of a large influx of homegrown talent the Astros have developed in recent years. Other big hits for the Houston scouting department include Carlos Correa, Jose Altuve, George Springer and Dallas Keuchel.

The Astros selected Bregman with the second overall pick in the 2015 MLB Amateur Draft, just after Arizona took Vanderbilt shortstop Dansby Swanson. Through a season-and-a-half, Bregman has outperformed his counterpart in nearly every statistical category.

Swanson is hitting .246 with 9 home runs and 68 RBI in his first 617 at-bats, while Bregman is batting .279 with 27 home runs and 105 RBI through 757 MLB at-bats.

Bregman’s brief minor league career included stops in Quad Cities, Lancaster, Corpus Christi, and Fresno — he played a total of 146 games between the four teams. In late July 2016, the Astros deemed Bregman ready for the big leagues and he hasn’t looked back since.

Bregman got his feet wet by appearing in 49 games in 2016, and the highly-touted prospect came into his own this season, finishing with a .284 average, 19 home runs and 71 RBI.

If the Astros plan to emerge as the victor in this World Series, Bregman will need to continue to be an impact player both in the field and at the plate.

“It’s been a blast playing all year long with these guys,” Bregman said. “We took a big step (against New York) in getting to the World Series, but we want to go win the whole thing.”

Not bad for a guy that was living out an entirely different World Series dream in Omaha two years ago.

“Playing in Omaha is a huge stage, and we’re playing on a pretty big stage right now, too,” Bregman said.