Houston – Third Base Alex Bregman said he could not be happier with the Houston Astros, the team he designed out of the LSU in 2015 in second place overall and the club he helped to win a World Series last October.
But he does not deny being annoyed that the Diamondbacks have not selected him with the first overall selection this year. They went instead with Vanderbilt shortstop Dansby Swanson.
"I was very happy to come to a good organization like the Astros, an emerging organization," Bregman said. "But yes, I was angry, I wanted to be the # 1 overall choice, part of the reason why I wear (uniform) # 2 is because of that."
At this point, there is little doubt that Bregman was the best player to emerge from this draft. He enjoys a huge year in his second full season as a day-to-day player, coming home on Saturday with a .295 average, 50 doubles, 30 homers, a .950 OPS (on base-plus-slugging) and 10 steals. He could not win the American League MVP Award, but he will at least consider it.
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Prior to the draft in 2015, the Diamondbacks never seemed to think of bringing Bregman to No. 1. He was too small. He was considered less secure than staying with Swanson. He did not have the same gentle and easy actions as Swanson. In addition, the team's scouting division believed in Swanson's bat and loved its make-up and leadership potential.
Bregman said he could tell the Diamondbacks that they were not interested in him.
"Not at all," said Bregman. "They were Swanson all the way, but the Astros were the other way around, my agent interviewed many teams and it was 50/50."
Bregman said the Diamondbacks showed interest in drawing him from the 2012 high school. But they bypassed him in the first round and chose catcher Stryker Trahan at number 26 overall, then Bregman called to see, he said, if he would sign as a second choice.
"I told them I was going to school," said Bregman, who was number 30 at the university to reflect the number of teams that passed him in the first round.
Swanson has not proven to be a bad pick, at least not when viewed through the prism of baseball design, which tends to be much less reliable than other sports. While remaining at shortstop and playing well – he is much less impressed by an offensive player, at least according to advanced defensive metrics. He entered on Saturday with a .241 average, 14 homers and a .704 OPS.
Of course he does that for the Atlanta Braves, where he was sent by the Diamondbacks as part of the unfortunate Shelby Miller Trade.
When asked if he thought the Diamondbacks would have traded him too, if he had been won first, Bregman smiled.
"I do not know," he said. "Maybe not."