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Plate Approach Guru: Alex Bregman, the Late First-Round Fantasy Game-Changer

The Houston Astros scandal may scare fantasy owners away, but SI Fantasy analyst Shawn Childs believes Alex Bregman is ready for a repeat of his 2019 campaign

All controversy aside in Houston, Astros third baseman Alex Bregman is a top-notch fantasy option. Surrounded by good bats in the batting order, there is big-time four-category production in his game with speed upside. Some may wonder how many at-bats did he benefit from during the cheating scandal, but his patience at the plate and other auxiliary stats showcased below still firmly separate Bregman from the rest of the pack.

Bregman continued pushing upward to the elite tier of players in Major League Baseball in 2019. His plate approach is one of the absolute best in baseball, highlighted by his elite walk rate (17.3) and sliding strikeout rate (12.0). He displayed development in his average hit rate (2.000) and a bounce-back in contact batting average (.344). Bregman set career-highs in runs (122), home runs (41), and RBI (112) and also led the league in walks (119).

His only drawback was a decrease in steals (5). Bregman’s hard-hit rate (37.5) came in at 219th so there’s room for growth here. He did have improvement in his HR/FB rate (18.6). His swing path delivers a lot of fly balls (45.9 percent – 43.1 in his career).

Last year, he dominated left-handed pitching (.350 with 16 HRs and 38 RBI over 163 at-bats) with his best results after the All-Star break (.338 with 61 runs, 18 HRs, and 56 RBI over 237 at-bats). Bregman has become an excellent middle-of-the order bat in Houston and he can produce 250 combined runs and RBI in 2020.

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Bregman is young enough that we could see a turnaround in his speed, all while having the elite approach at the plate to push for a batting title. His average draft position is around 11th overall in most drafts in 2020 while gaining an extra notch of value from me due to his shortstop qualification.

Look for him to post .310 with 125 runs, 35 home runs, 125 RBI, and 10 steals. In 2019, he ranked as the ninth best hitter in SIscores and your expectations should be similar for 2020.

READ MORE: 2020 Houston Astros Fantasy Team Preview