Prior to October of this year, when talk centered on the infield stars for the Houston Astros it was about Jose Altuve and Carlos Correa.
However, the 2017 postseason is changing some of that focus.
Alex Bregman’s single to win World Series Game 5 snapping a 12-12 tie provided the most recent indication the third baseman has become another force in the formidable infield of the Astros.
Bregman, who is just 23 years old, plays like a veteran who is 30, says Altuve. He hits home runs, steals bases and Altuve added that when he was just 23 he was not as good as Bregman is now and feels the third baseman will soon become a superstar.
Signs of the emergence of Bregman have become evident during the postseason, though both Correa and Altuve have made plays to outshine them.
Bregman was able to walk in the fifth inning of Game 5 off Clayton Kershaw following an at-bat of 10 pitches, which ended up being the last batter Kershaw faced. Altuve followed with a three run homer that knotted the game at 7-7.
The night before, during Game 4, Bregman charged a chopper hit by Chris Taylor, took it into his glove on a short hop fired home to catcher Brian McCann and cut down Dodgers’ Austin Barnes who attempted to score from third, which preserved a tie of 0-0 during the sixth.
Bregman has hit four homers during October and all of them have come against pitchers who are members of the who’s who of MLB. He twice hit homers off Chris Sale an American League Cy Young Award favorite for Boston and has hit one off Kershaw and Kenley Jansen, the closer for the Dodgers.
The quick run up to stardom by Bregman is not surprising for the Astros, who picked him No. 2 overall in the draft of 2015 out of LSU, where he played shortstop.
However, with Correa having a firm hold of that position for the Astros, Bregman was able to transition smoothly to third base where he does not just field a grounder, but appears to attack it.
New teammate Justin Verlander says Bregman reminds him of Dustin Pedroia the hardnosed Red Sox second baseman.
Bregman is not afraid of running down foul balls and hitting railings for a popup or standing in against one of the game’s hardest throwers without giving up an inch.
Bregman and his teammates will look to close out the World Series with a win on Tuesday in Game 7 at Los Angeles with Verlander on the mound for the Astros.