If you don't know who Alex Bregman is you are missing out. Bregman is a shortstop prospect in the Houston Astros minor league system.
Bregman started 2016 at Double-A Corpus Christi. In 62 games at AA Bregman had a .297/.415/.559 slash line with 14 home runs, 5 stolen bases, 54 runs and 46 RBIs. During that time he played the majority of his games at shortstop, but did have a couple of appearances at third base giving many the impression that he could make a trip to the big leagues and replace Luis Valbuena at the hot corner. However, his attempts to play third were few and he soon moved back to his natural position in the middle infield.
On June 30th Bregman was promoted to Triple-A Fresno and he has raked every since then. In his first game at Fresno he went 4 for 5 with five runs, three RBIs, a walk and one strikeout. Not a bad first game. He has since backed that up by going 7 for 21 with four home runs, eight RBIs, five runs, one walk and five strikeout giving him a slash line at AAA of .423/.464/1.000. All of his appearances in Fresno have been made as a shortstop which begs the question how can he find playing time in the majors at some point this season?
Of course I wouldn't ask the question if I didn't have the answer. There are three possible ways that I could see Bregman cracking a major league roster.
First, he could be traded. Houston is trying to make a run towards a playoff spot and is only 0.5 a game out of the second wild card spot and 7.5 games out of first place in their division. A hot prospect like Bregman could bring back a high end starting pitcher that the Astros really could use.
Second, Houston could bring him up to play third base and either cut, trade or bench Valbuena. Even though Valbuena has been hitting better recently he is not the long term solution at third for the Astros and everyone knows that. Moving Valbuena off the hot corner gives Bregman an everyday spot in Houston's lineup. I would think that we see him playing third at Fresno for a few games though if that was the route the team wanted to take. Since that hasn't been the case so far it tells me either they aren't close to bringing him up or they don't see him as their third baseman of the future.
Finally, and maybe the most likely, Houston could decide to move last year's rookie of the year Carlos Correa over to third and thereby opening up shortstop for Bregman. Correa is a young stud with a bat and on the base paths, but many have said that his build may better suit him as a third baseman. To date Correa has made seven errors at short in 80 games, not great for one of the most important defensive positions on the field. A move to third could better fit Correa long term and gets a big bat in the lineup now in the form of Bregman. Only problem with this solution is that Bregman hasn't been lights out at defensively either. At Double-A Bregman committed 10 errors in only 51 games and these defensive lapses may be why he doesn't make the big league club this year.
Houston if facing a problem that many teams would love to have, they have too many young talented players. Specifically too many young shortstops. It is a great problem to have and in the end it will work itself out one way or another. Don't be surprised though to see Bregman in Houston before too long, especially if he keeps hitting the way he is at Fresno.